By Rob Stewart
Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle has insisted that the newly-promoted Championship club have the “upper hand” in their bid to keep prolific striker Jordan Rhodes amid interest from Fulham.
Hoyle spoke as his mind turned towards retaining the services of the Scotland international when the Yorkshire side return to the second tier of English football for the first time in over a decade next season.
The 22-year-old Rhodes – for whom Fulham are reportedly lining up a £5 million bid - may not have added to his 40-goal haul for the season in a goalless play-off final draw with Sheffield United but he coolly stuck away a spot-kick as Huddersfield triumphed in a sudden-death shoot-out.
“I am sure that the rumour-mongers will be getting to work as we speak but Jordan is under contract with us until 2015. We have the upper hand and that is final. That is all I am prepared to say on the matter,” Hoyle told Goal.com.
“There was a lot of pressure on Jordan before the game at Wembley and everyone was talking about him but he stepped up to the plate when it mattered most for us in that penalty shootout.
“Jordan is a cracking guy and it did not quite come off for him – but it was scorching on the pitch at Wembley - but, let’s be fair, anyone that has watched him week in, week out knows what a sensational talent we have got on our hands."
Hoyle is now due to discuss the club’s plans for the 2012-13 campaign with manager Simon Grayson, who took over at the Terriers' reins when Lee Clark was sacked in February.
“I brought Simon in to do a job and get us promoted and that is what he has done but credit has to go to Lee Clark as well,” the chairman added.
“I know I got berated for letting him go, probably berated more outside Huddersfield than within the area where people count most because they are the ones who know best and support the club.
“Lee brought the players to the club and we had three great years with Lee and Simon has come in and finished the job off.”