By Tony Leighton
Blackburn Rovers and Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes has played under a number of different managers of late, but he remains as focussed as ever.
Including caretaker bosses, Rhodes - who joined Rovers in an £8million move from Huddersfield Town in August - has played under no less than 10 different managers at club and international level during the last 11 months following the arrival at Ewood Park of new man Michael Appleton this week.
"I must be a jinx," joked Rhodes, as he was reminded of the number of managers he has worked with.
Not that Rhodes, who has hit 14 goals in 23 npower Championship appearances for Blackburn this season after scoring 87 in 148 league and cup games for Huddersfield, could, by any stretch of the imagination, be labelled a jinx.
The prolific striker told football-league.co.uk: "Having a new manager come in is part and parcel of football and as a player you just get on with your job - and in my opinion there's no better job in the world than playing football for a living.
"You turn up for training with a smile on your face and work hard to earn the shirt, and when a new manager comes in everybody is out to impress because a new manager with new ideas means that those shirts are up for grabs."
Rhodes is surely guaranteed a shirt as Rovers look to build on their run of four games unbeaten under caretaker Gary Bowyer, who led his team to two league wins and a draw plus an FA Cup victory - this after a run of five successive defeats had been followed by the departure of manager Henning Berg.
Appleton takes on a side that, after relegation from the Premier League last term, are 13th in the Championship table and seven points below the Play-Off places.
And as he looks to continue the momentum, Appleton will be working with a young team - five of the starting line-up last time out, in their 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, were younger than the 22-year-old Rhodes.
Achieving promotion at the first attempt may be quite a task but Rhodes remains confident, saying: "Having that many players in the team who are younger than me is a strange feeling, because I'm normally one of the youngest myself.
"But they're all good players, and with the results we've been getting the confidence is growing among the whole team. As for myself, I'm just happy to be scoring goals and I'm taking it one match at a time.
"I'm just doing the best I can to help us win games, and after the decent little run we've had we've now got a good chance to kick on in our next few matches.
"We'll take each one as the biggest game of the season and hopefully come away with a result that gets us moving closer to the top positions."
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