Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes once ‘dreamed’ of playing for Ipswich Town, now he wants to provide them with a wake-up call

Jordan Rhodes

Jordan Rhodes - Credit: PA

Jordan Rhodes once dreamed of playing for Ipswich Town – tomorrow he’s keen to provide his former club with a wake-up call.

The 24-year-old will always be seen as the one that got away by Blues fans. Since he departed Portman Road for a cut-price £750,000 in 2009 the former Kesgrave High School pupil has scored 140 times for clubs and country.

On Tuesday night he hit the 50-goal mark for Blackburn Rovers. And the Scotland international admits he still remains motivated to prove that his boyhood club, under the management of Roy Keane at the time, were wrong to let him go.

Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s game at Ewood Park, Mick McCarthy’s side able to move into the play-off places with victory, Rhodes told the Lancashire Telegraph: “Ipswich is a club that I hold dear to my heart. I grew up supporting them, my family lived down there at the time, so to be let go was hard to take.

“Being 19 years old and having to move home was tough. I’m not going for a sob story but it was a club I wanted to play for, I dreamed of playing for, so to be let go in strange circumstances was tough to take.”

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The striker – who helped Huddersfield get promoted to the Championship before making an £8m switch to Blackburn – continued: “You want to prove one or two people wrong with a couple of decisions that have been made previously in your career. Hopefully, one day, I’ll look back on my career and say, ‘yes, you made a mistake’.

“It was nice to get to that 50-goal mark in midweek (scoring twice in a 2-2 home draw with Brighton). Playing up front for Blackburn Rovers is a joy, it’s a top club full of top people.”

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Rhodes – whose side have seen their own top-six hopes falter with four successive draws – will be up against his good friend Tommy Smith tomorrow and he knows that confidence is high at his former club following the return of seven points from a possible nine.

“Tommy is a good family friend, we grew up together as we were 14-15 year olds in Ipswich’s academy,” said Rhodes. “He’s my best friend in football and he’s had a good career so far, he’s got a lot of caps for New Zealand, been to a World Cup and was Player of the Year for Ipswich last season.

“They’re in good form and we have to be right on our game on Saturday to give them a run for their money.”

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