HUDDERSFIELD Town striker Jordan Rhodes pushed his claims for a place in the full Scotland squad by scoring a hat-trick for the Under-21s against Luxembourg.
Rhodes, who misses today’s home game against Stevenage, is now preparing for Scotland’s next Under-21 game against Austria on Monday.
Town manager Lee Clark said: “We are very proud of Jordan. He is a terrific boy and also a fantastic goal scorer.
“When we received the news that he had scored a hat-trick for his adopted country we were absolutely delighted.”
Rhodes, 21, was born in Oldham but qualifies for Scotland because he attended school north of the border when his father Andy – now the goalkeeping coach at Sheffield Wednesday – played for Dunfermline Athletic, St Johnstone and Airdrie in the Nineties.
Town’s preparations for today’s game suffered a setback when it emerged that on-loan defender Liam Cooper will be sidelined for a month after suffering a back injury in midweek against Bradford City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“Liam was in a lot of pain and had to spend the night in hospital,” revealed Clark.
“As a youngster, he suffered problems with his back so we had to be very cautious. Thankfully, all the tests that were undertaken have come back clear but he will be out for the next two to three games.”
Now unbeaten in 36 league games, Town can climb to second in the League One table with a victory today.
Opponents Stevenage suffered a fourth consecutive defeat in midweek but Clark has stressed that Town need to match the physical nature of their game today at the Galpharm Stadium.
“I have watched Stevenage on numerous occasions – I don’t know how I have ended up going down there, but I have,” he said. “They are a very powerful and athletic outfit who have been very successful over the last couple of years.
“If we are not up for the fight on Saturday then we will get found out.
“They are a physical team who have a fantastic work ethic and seem to have come through the last two years as one big group.
“They are a force and a team that we will respect. We have done a lot of work on them but if my players produce the same attacking performance from Tuesday then we will get the result that we want.”
Midfielder Oscar Gobern is doubtful with a dead leg but Calum Woods is set to return at left-back after recovering from a hamstring strain which led to his substition last weekend at Brentford.
Centre-back Jamie McCombe is still banned.
Last six games: Huddersfield WWDDWL, Stevenage DWLLLL.
Last time: No previous meeting.
Referee: SJ Rushton (Staffordshire).