Sheffield Wednesday’s survival fight will hinge on service to Jordan Rhodes

SHOULD Sheffield Wednesday perform their own version of the ‘Great Escape’ from relegation, then Jordan Rhodes is highly likely to have a say in it.

The striker’s brace helped relegation-threatened Wednesday secure a precious first win in nine Championship matches – and a maiden success of the Darren Moore era – at high-flying Barnsley on Saturday to maintain their survival hopes.

It was also a big day for the Owls’ fellow strugglers Rotherham United, who claimed a fine 2-0 victory at Bristol City.

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Wednesday’s triumph at Oakwell, which extended the club’s unbeaten run in Barnsley to seven matches, totally went against the form book in terms of recent league statistics.

Owls star: Jordan Rhodes is is challenged by Barnsley's Michal Helik. Picture: Simon Hulme

The Reds, flying high in fifth, had won nine of their previous 10 matches, but suffered a first defeat in 13 games after Rhodes’s double took his tally of goals in the past week to three.

On a Rhodes-inspired win for second-from-bottom Wednesday, six points adrift of fourth-from-bottom Birmingham City, Moore said: “We feel if we can get Jordan the service, he does what he says and he will put the ball in the back of the net. It was two well-worked finishes. His timing to get across his markers for the first goal was good and he finished the second well with his left foot. We are pleased with him.”

“I was really pleased for the players and wanted them to feel that adulation from three points and it is really important.”

Moore confirmed that the club are continuing to assess former Sheffield United midfielder Ravel Morrison in training and will make a decision on the free agent this week.

Barnsley players are now fitting in some much-needed rest and recuperation after giving everything in their recent outstanding run, with a number of players looking tired in Saturday’s 2-1 derby reverse.

Head coach Valerien Ismael, whose side host Reading in a key game after the international break on April 2, said: “We now need to recover. It is clear the international break is welcomed by us and now is time to recover, see the family, re-set ourselves and come back with big freshness and a mindset for the last eight games and last effort.”

Ismael revealed that Herbie Kane missed the game with a knee injury sustained in training on Friday and will be out for a fortnight.

Match report: Page 3

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