For Jordan Rhodes, life at Sheffield Wednesday hasn’t been the glory-filled, goal-laden extravaganza that many expected it would when he arrived at the club for a club record fee nine-months ago.
Rhodes struggled to find the net and indeed had difficulty finding his place in the team, in both a figurative and physical sense.
Despite having already been the subject of a few big money moves, this time the price tag appeared to weigh heavier.
Chances were being missed but in his defence, not many were being created for him.
Rhodes would eventually lose his starting spot and was forced to fight on from the sub’s bench.
For a player of his nature, where razor sharpness in front of goal had been a long-held calling card, the lack of sustained game time amplified the problem and led to a noticeable drop in confidence.
Some fans wondered whether the club had wasted their money in forking out such a sum for the striker.
Others felt the team weren’t set up to really play to Rhodes’ strengths.
Then, over the summer there appeared to be something of a change.
Rhodes scored a few goals, looked dangerous in front of goal again, even starting the opening game against Preston. He wasn’t alone in turning in a shocker that day but eventually his place would be lost to Steven Fletcher who again struck up a partnership with Gary Hooper which would reap goals.
Fast forward and with those goals drying up somewhat, Rhodes was sent back into the fray against Millwall and came up with the winner.
A few days later, he added another against Aston Villa.
Now, things are starting to look a lot brighter for the former Scotland international and according to Carlos Carvalhal, it has just taken to this point for Rhodes to work out how to play in this Sheffield Wednesday team.
The head coach believes that the changing nature of the Championship which has all but shelved its kick-and-rush reputation, meant that Rhodes, too, had to alter his game which had been based around getting the ball into the box early
And that is now beginning to bear fruit.
“Sometimes, it takes time, it’s not easy,” said Carvalhal ahead of Saturday’s visit of Bristol City. “Some players it is easy. Some players find it difficult to understand.
“Jordan, it’s not difficult to explain, he played all the time in one way, the Championship played in one way for a long time but the Championship is changing.
“Typical British football, very few teams play like that now.
“Centre backs played more longer to the attackers but there are a lot of teams, 80% maybe who play differently from the back.
“Centre backs start building the attack. If you don’t have players in attack who don’t understand this, to block the opponents, they will go inside of you and score goals and make you a weak team. The attackers are very important.
“If you play all your life one way, then you must change something, it takes time.
“It’s good for us that Jordan understands .
“He did better than I expected against Aston Villa, that job. He did really very well.
“In my opinion he need to run less without the ball and that means he is more fresh with the ball.
“Some players take more time to understand that, some understand more quickly.”
The calls that had been made for Carvalhal to change his style to fit Rhodes into the team, were also shot down, which the Portuguese insisting that a player must change his ways to benefit the team, not the other way around.
“When you have one way that you play, the players must adapt, the team must not adapt to the player,” he said.
“If you do this then you don’t have a philosophy. You are adapting to the players you have and there is something wrong there.
“It’s good to us that all the players now have adapted.”