JORDAN RHODES believes former club Huddersfield Town have the quality to maintain a promotion push this season.
The Terriers are sitting seventh in the Championship after rescuing a point against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night in dramatic fashion.
Lee Novak bundled home the equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time to ensure Rhodes’s first return to the John Smith’s Stadium ended with honours even.
And while the 22-year-old Scotland international was frustrated to be denied all three points at the death, he does believe Town are up there on merit in the table.
He said: “Without a doubt, Huddersfield can challenge and be up there with the best in the Championship. They have the players and the coaching staff to do so.
“They have a good hungry group of players. And even though they were missing a few, they showed what a good squad they have.
“Huddersfield will be up there and I am glad to be able to say that. When I finish playing for Blackburn on a Saturday, I always look first for the Huddersfield score.
“That will always be the case, no matter who or where I am playing. They are a club close to my heart.”
Rhodes was given a warm ovation by the Town fans ahead of kick-off before he marked his first return since joining Blackburn for £8m in August with his sixth goal in 12 starts for the Lancashire outfit.
After darting in behind the home defence with an intelligently timed run, the Rovers striker finished with typical aplomb to cancel out Lee Novak’s early strike.
Danny Murphy’s 56th-minute penalty looked to have then claimed all three points for the Lancashire club only for Novak to strike again deep into stoppage time.
Rhodes may have been frustrated to see two points disappear so late on but he was magnanimous in his praise for his one-time strike-partner in a blue and white shirt.
The Blackburn striker said: “It wasn’t good to see Lee do well in terms of the game because I wanted Blackburn to win.
“But he is a good friend of mine so it is nice to see him doing well for Huddersfield Town.
“We roomed together when I was at Huddersfield. Lee scoring like he did at the end was typical of him.
“As a team, we were a little bit disappointed at how the goal came about as we didn’t know if it was offside.
“I also thought Alan Lee did terrifically well when he came in and changed the impetus of the game.”