Middlesbrough v Blackburn Rovers - Jordan Rhodes unfazed by immediate Rovers return

JORDAN RHODES: Set to make Middlesbrough debut against former club Blackburn today.
JORDAN RHODES: Set to make Middlesbrough debut against former club Blackburn today.
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GIVEN that he is not fazed by the huge price tag following his arrival at Middlesbrough, you would not expect Jordan Rhodes to be unduly worried either about making his debut against his former club.

Which he plainly is not, with the former Blackburn striker, who turned 26 yesterday, eyeing a belated birthday present at his old club’s expense today.

On facing his former employers so soon, Rhodes, who joined Boro for an initial £9m, said: “You’re going to have to come up against them at some point. It’s just what it is.

“There’s no two ways about it, I’ll have to prepare as I would for any other game.

“I really enjoyed my time at Blackburn, I’ve made team-mates and friends for life and everyone around there was terrific with me. I hope it goes all the best for them.”

The notion of pressure being on his shoulders after Boro forked out such an outlay to sign him is also something over which Rhodes will not be losing any sleep.

The former Huddersfield Town forward added: “I don’t really feel any pressure. My main focus is trying to get myself into the team. There’s a real abundance of talent here, so if called upon, I’ll try and do my best.

“As long as Middlesbrough come off (having scored) more goals than the opposition, everyone’s happy.

“I’ve never liked to set myself targets. I just train, do my best and if you can get a goal or two then great.

“You can see the quality that the squad has got.

“Nothing will be taken for granted and hopefully if I’m part of the squad on Saturday, it would be nice to get a first win.

“Everyone will just take one game at a time. People outside the bubble will make their own assumptions, but the players are just concentrating on the next (match).”

Utility man Rhys Williams has returned to the club following a loan spell at Charlton, while back-up goalkeeper Tomas Mejias has signed a new deal.