Sheffield Wednesday: Carvalhal backs Rhodes as Owls striker hits dry spell

Jordan Rhodes in action against Barnsley
Jordan Rhodes in action against Barnsley

Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal is confident Jordan Rhodes will soon start to hit his stride with the Championship promotion hopefuls.

Scotland international Rhodes, the son of Owls goalkeeping coach Andy, has registered three goals in 11 starts since moving to Hillsborough over two months ago.

But the 27-year-old has failed to find the back of the net in his last five matches for club and country.

Rhodes struggled to make an impact in Saturday’s draw at Barnsley and was replaced just after the hour mark.

Head coach Carvalhal said: “Jordan is a very interesting player. He’s a very good scorer. He’s trying his best.

“But he’s like all players, when he’s not performing so well or we think that we need a new energy, we put another one on. Jordan fought and ran a lot but, at that moment, we wanted to refresh a little the attack.”

Sam Winnall, Rhodes’ strike partner, ended his seven-match goal drought at Oakwell. More than 4,800 Wednesdayites cheered on the team against their local rivals and Winnall, who left Barnsley to join the Owls in January, tapped into an empty net after a defensive mistake by Adam Davies.

Carvalhal said: “Sam is a fighter. He ran a lot. He finished the game exhausted and he asked to be substituted but we couldn’t do that because we had done three at that moment.”

The Portuguese boss felt Wednesday deserved maximum points but Angus MacDonald’s header in added on time extended their winless league run to four matches.

“We played for the three points and with good discipline,” he said. “We didn’t play fantastic football but we played with discipline.

“We are all very disappointed.

“We wanted to win for our fans, who were amazing.”

Carvalhal fears Sam Hutchinson will miss tomorrow’s South Yorkshire derby tussle with relegated Rotherham United. The defensive midfielder, one of two changes, limped off in the first half against the Reds after suffering a calf problem.

“We don’t know yet,” said Carvalhal, who expects to learn the full extent of Fernando Forestieri’s knee injury in the ‘next week’. “It will not be easy for Sam to recover in the next days.

“We believe we can recover two or three players this week.

“With more options, we can be more strong.”

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