Tuesday, 01 January 2008 00:00

Jones planning to stop downward spiral

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Jones planning to stop downward spiral

Jan 1 2008 by Darren Devine, Western Mail

DRAGONS midfielder Mark Jones new year wish is to rescue a career which went into a downward spiral in 2007. Once viewed as the most gifted prospect to emerge at the Racecourse in years, Jones career has stuttered for the last 12 months.

And on Saturday he was left out of the side beaten 1-0 by Stockport by new Dragons boss Brian Little.

However, he acknowledges his form has been poor since returning from injury for the 3-1 defeat to Brentford last month.

I cant say I wasnt disappointed, because I was really disappointed, said the Wales Under-21 cap.

Ive had a disappointing time lately. Ive been injured and Ive come back and Ive been in and out of the team.

But Im the first to admit my form has not been brilliant and its down to me now.

Ive got to try and impress the manager to show Im worthy of a place in the team.

Hes come in and its up to him to pick his strongest line-up.

Despite being left out against Stockport, Jones has been impressed with Little since the former Aston Villa chief arrived at the Racecourse in November.

Hes very good. He encourages players to do the right things and he seems a really good manager, said the 23-year-old.

Ive only been training a week or two, but if you make a mistake hes always encouraging you to put it right.

Jones believes his loss of form has mirrored the general malaise of a rock-bottom team that has suffered five consecutive league defeats and scored only six goals at home this season.

When the team is struggling its always more difficult to play well, he said.

Ive been struggling with injuries as well and I just need to get a run of games together.

Its always difficult when youre getting injured, coming back and then getting injured again.

Its hard to get a run of form going and its been very frustrating.

Little intends bringing in several new faces in the January transfer window and Jones believes the manager is right to freshen up his struggling squad.

Im not sure whats going to happen, but I think we need a couple of new faces in, he said.

It always benefits the team when someone new comes in.

Hopefully the manager can get the right players in and that can help the team turn things around.

Weve got to start winning soon to get us away from where we are now. Its a tough game for us at Chesterfield but weve just got to try not to concede and play well as a team.

If we can do that then well give ourselves a very good chance.

Chesterfield captain Kevin Gray serves the final game of a three-match ban after picking up a straight red in the 2-0 victory over Mansfield.

Dragons defender Richard Hope (ankle) misses out but midfield colleague Sam Aiston should be fit despite nursing a similar knock.

Wrexham have released Bridgend-born midfielder Matty Crowell, with Little saying he is now looking to make best use of the clubs limited resources to seek out new talent in the transfer window