Things smiles better now after years in doldrums, says Bradford City skipper Jones (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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A high five for flying City! League position has lifted Bantams fans’ spirits says Gary Jones
Gary Jones believes City fans have got that grinning feeling at long last.
The captain ended his long association with Rochdale to cross the Pennines in the summer with the aim of bringing glory back to Valley Parade.
And he reckons the reaction of the success-starved supporters is proof that the fifth-placed Bantams are bang on course to achieve their promotion goal, despite the injury setbacks.
Jones said: “The fans have been great with us from minute one. The support they give us really is like a 12th man out there.
“They’ve had years in the doldrums but it’s nice to see us winning games now. You can see we’re putting smiles on their faces again.
“They are coming out in numbers to support the lads and we’re trying to give them something back.”
At 35, Jones may be the grand old man in the side but his hunger for the game remains as strong as ever.
Phil Parkinson highlights his desire and will to win as the example for the rest of the squad to follow.
The midfielder’s midweek winner against Plymouth was only his second goal for the club but with wingers Kyel Reid and Zavon Hines still sidelined, there is scope now for Jones – who once netted 19 in a season at Spotland – to push forward more.
“You need the big players to produce inspirational moments,” was Parkinson’s reaction to the goal that kept City firmly ensconced in the play-off zone.
Parkinson now wants his side to build on that result at Bristol Rovers tomorrow. Another win could even lift them into the third automatic promotion spot – they are currently only a point adrift of Cheltenham.
Jones is quite happy to keep expectations high despite the non-stop workload of matches created by their success on all fronts.
He said: “It’s a great confidence booster if you’re winning games. We’ve played a lot of games already but everyone wants to be in all these competitions – nothing beats winning.
“When I first spoke to the manager, he was talking about getting this club going again. That’s what we’re trying to do.
“It’s a great place to be and things are going well so far. We’re winning games and going up the table.
“We’ve got a small squad but it is one full of quality that the club probably haven’t had in the past. Players can come in at the drop of a hat to replace someone else and you don’t notice any slip in standard.
“That’s what you need to have a good season. It’s not just a case of somebody filling a position but getting the chance and doing a really good job.
“We’ve got total confidence in all the lads in the squad to be able to do that when called upon.
“We’ve got that mentality here. Everyone wants to work hard for the team and we’ve got match-winners who can make things happen.
“I think we’ve got the lot and you can see that on any given day we can beat whoever is put in front of us.”