Patience is the key for Jordan

IT didn't hurt Wayne Rooney to wait for his debut and Jordan Rhodes is happy to follow suit.Rhodes has hit an astonishing 40 goals this season, 20 in the reserve league, 11 for the Under-18s, two in the FA Cup for Oxford United and another seven in behind-closed door games against the likes of Colorado Rapids, Galway United and Premiership sides.

Derek Davis

IT didn't hurt Wayne Rooney to wait for his debut and Jordan Rhodes is happy to follow suit.

Rhodes has hit an astonishing 40 goals this season, 20 in the reserve league, 11 for the Under-18s, two in the FA Cup for Oxford United and another seven in behind-closed door games against the likes of Colorado Rapids, Galway United and Premiership sides.

Not surprisingly that has been followed by a clamour among Town supporters for the 18-year-old to be given a bigger part in the promotion push but the player shows maturity off the pitch is well as on it.

Rhodes said: “I look back to Wayne Rooney when David Moyes had him at Everton and wrapped him in cotton wool.

“That was the best striker in England. He kept him protected and did such a great job with Wayne that he sold him a couple of years later to Manchester United for £30m which shows what a great job he did.

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“Patience is the key for me at the moment.”

Although the £5,000 signing from Barnsley's academy is prepared to wait he is ready and willing for when the chance comes along.

He has already made three substitute appearances and has visualised what he would like to happen next.

He said: “It is my dream to score in the Championship.

“I have dreamt of the moment when I come off the bench and score for Ipswich, so many times. It would be nice to come on and score but whether I'm in the 18, 16 or 11, it will be another great experience for me and another step in my development.”

Understandably the teenage Rhodes still gets a little star struck but enjoys mixing with his heroes.

He said: “It is surreal to be sitting in the dressing room and there is Alan Lee and Pablo Counago getting ready too. Then last week I'm in there with Shefki Kuqi., This is a player I used to watch from the stand when I was 14.”

Blues boss Jim Magilton has kept the reins on the prodigious young striker who has been impressive at every level he has played at so far.

Magilton said: “Jordan is probably the most natural goalscorer we have at the football club. He has had an outstanding season and has continued to develop.

“He looks keen and ready and will be involved at Scunthorpe.”

While that doesn't mean he will start, it does mean Town have another option while they wait for the loan striker Magilton hopes to bring in.

Danny Simpson who he signed on loan from Manchester United is likely to be sat alongside Rhodes on the bench to begin with after just meeting his new team-mates last night.

It could be he is eventually used on the right, with David Wright switching to the left with Alex Bruce continuing his partnership with skipper Jason de Vos while Town continue to search for another centre-half, with Richard Naylor out for the rest of the season as he needs surgery on a neck injury.

He will join Jon Walters, David Norris and Shefki Kuqi in the treatment room.

Gavin Williams and Gary Roberts are both pushing for returns, although Town are likely to stick with Velice Sumulikoski and Owen Garvan in midfield at Scunthorpe.

Scunthorpe United squad: Murphy, Lillis, Cork, Crosby, Butler, Iriekpen, Sparrow, Goodwin, McCann, Baraclough, Morris, Weston, Horsfield, May, Paterson, Hayes, Hobbs, Forte, Hurst.

Ipswich Town squad: Bywater, Colgan, Simpson, Wright, Sito, Harding, Bruce, De Vos, Sumulikoski, Trotter, Miller, Garvan, Williams, Roberts, Quinn, Counago, Lee Rhodes.