Friday, December 4th, 2015
Steve Cotterill is well aware of the threat posed by Blackburn Rovers hotshot Jordan Rhodes this weekend.
The Scotland international, still only 25, has been a prolific marksman throughout his career, scoring more than 20 goals in each of the last six seasons – the last three of which have been spent at Ewood Park following his 2012 move from Huddersfield Town, then a League One club.
Rhodes has nine Championship goals to his name so far this campaign. Only Andre Gray (11) and Ross McCormack (ten) have scored more, but Cotterill says actions speak louder than words when it comes to keeping the striker at bay.
“He’s someone who has got to be tightly marked on Saturday, but I’m sure there are lots of managers up and down the country who will think this or say this,” the boss told Bristol City Player HD.
“It’s one thing saying it but it’s another thing keeping him quiet because he’s a very, very good player at this level.
“He’s a very calm finisher who scores all sorts of goals – right foot, left foot and headers.
“He mustn’t be ignored in the air. He’s the one who stands on the goalkeeper (from corners) but he has good movement, and if he doesn’t get the first effort in he might get on the second one.
“I’ve only met him a couple of times but he’s a very nice lad as well – a very humble boy. He would be very welcome in our group of lads, I’m sure!”
Cotterill believes Gary Bowyer was unlucky to lose his job as Blackburn boss last month, paving the way for the arrival of former Aston Villa and Norwich City chief Paul Lambert.
“I think they’re a good team and I was surprised when they changed the manager,” he continued.
“You obviously never really know what’s going on behind the scenes at a football club, but I thought he’d done a very good job, considering the circumstances.
“I also felt that Paul Lambert was very lucky to drop into that and have what has been left behind, because I think he’s got a really good set of lads there to start working with.”
Cotterill admitted City are still nursing a couple of knocks following the 3-0 defeat at Rotherham United last time out.
Scott Wagstaff picked up a thigh strain whilst playing for City Under-21s against QPR on Monday, but Nathan Baker is fit after suffering from breathing problems that forced him off at half-time in South Yorkshire.