Rhodes still has focus on Under-21s future

Jordan Rhodes sees his future with the Scotland Under-21s despite his promotion to the full squad ahead of the friendly against Cyprus.

Rhodes was called up for tomorrow’s match in Larnaca after hitting five goals in two games for Billy Stark’s side in UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Belgium last month.

But he will also play for Stark’s team on Monday against Holland as they look to continue their unbeaten start to their campaign and peg back group leaders Holland.

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The Huddersfield Town striker does not think he has made it as a full international player just because of one call-up and is determined to do his best for the Under-21s.

“I’m delighted to spend some time with the squad,” the 21-year-old said. “Whether I will be involved in the game on Friday would be fantastic but in terms of my development, my aims and focus is certainly on the Under-21s and a good campaign.

“Holland, who have won all their games in the group, are going to be a real test. We have to work as hard as we can to try and stop them.”

Oldham-born Rhodes, who qualifies for Scotland through his schooling, reiterated his commitment to his adopted country and revealed father Andy, the former Dunfermline goalkeeper, now a coach at Sheffield Wednesday, was delighted with his call-up.

“He came up to Scotland and spent 10 or 11 great seasons and obviously has a lot of Scottish friends,” he said.

“My mum and dad raised a Scottish family and I’m just grateful to be part of a Scottish squad. Both my brother and sister are Scottish-born.

“They have always been around and very supportive of their older brother going away from home and playing football and now, which has happened so quickly, being part of the Scottish squad.

“Having them around and having their support, that’s what it’s all about.

“I try and go on the field and do them proud and do my family proud.”

Steve Fletcher has stepped down from his post as assistant manager at Bournemouth.

The 39-year-old, who took on the role in January of this year, will remain on the Cherries’ books as a member of manager Lee Bradbury’s playing staff.