Blackpool manager Neil Critchley believes there is no long-lasting damage to Jordan Rhodes after the striker picked up a knock in last night’s FA Cup victory over Forest Green Rovers.
The 33-year-old joined the Lancashire side on a season-long loan from Championship outfit Huddersfield Town in the summer and has been a revelation at Bloomfield Road. Rhodes earned a reputation during the early parts of his career as a clinical goalscorer but hadn’t hit over 10 goals in a season since the 2015/16 campaign whilst at Blackburn Rovers.
After deciding to drop to the third tier for the first time in over a decade, the former Scotland international has rediscovered his sparkle and has 14 goals in 18 League One appearances for the Seasiders. Only Charlton Athletic’s Alfie May has more goals and he has been pivotal to Blackpool’s promotion push, where they currently sit four points and two places outside the play-off places.
Critchley opted to give his star man a break last night in the FA Cup second round clash with Forest Green Rovers. However, he was introduced as a late substitute and gave the manager a scare after picking up a knock on his shoulder shortly after.
Rhodes managed to see the game out and the ex-QPR boss was quick to alleviate any fears that the veteran would miss any of the upcoming holiday schedule. Speaking to The Blackpool Gazette, the 45-year-old said;
“It was an inexperienced challenge from the boy (Reece Welch).
“I’ve seen a lot of him from his time at Everton, and he just mistimed it; there was no malice or anything. He caught Jordan on the shoulder so he’s a bit sore.
“He came back on and finished the game so fingers crossed he’ll be okay and it doesn’t become any worse.”
Blackpool host Bristol Rovers this weekend before taking the trip to Burton Albion on Boxing Day.
Rhodes would have given Blackpool fans a scare last night and they will be relieved to receive the news that their talisman should be available this weekend.
It was a gamble to bring the ex-Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday man onto the field in the first place, especially because they had just taken a two-goal lead shortly before his introduction. Critchley will be pleased that the decision hasn’t cost him and can now look forward to Saturday’s fixture – the first of four in the space of 10 days.