Jones won't ever want to give up the Gigg, says Bradford City manager (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Gary Jones won't ever want to give up the Gigg, says Bradford City manager
The City boss backs his captain’s presence in the three-man shortlist for League Two player of the year, which is voted for by the division’s managers.
Jones will find out on Sunday night if he has won the accolade over Exeter’s Jamie Cureton and Port Vale hitman Tom Pope.
For Parkinson, the fact that Jones at 35 and 37-year-old Cureton have been nominated shows an on-going dedication for duty.
He said: “Gaz’s hunger at his age to train and play every day has been outstanding and the way he looks after himself from game to game.
“Football has changed over the last ten to 15 years. Look at players like Ryan Giggs.
“If you retain your desire, you’re prepared to make sacrifices off the pitch and you’re lucky with injuries, then you can keep playing.
“Gary and Jamie Cureton are great examples and I’ve worked with them both.
“Gaz has given his all in every single game we’ve played and he’s like that in training.
“Unfortunately there’s no easy way to stay in professional football as long as Gary has. It’s down to hard work and that good old-fashioned dedication.”
At the other end of the scale, Carl McHugh will be available for tomorrow’s home clash with Bristol Rovers before linking up with the Republic of Ireland under-21s to face Portugal on Monday.
Parkinson added: “It’s great for the club in terms of the season we’ve had. Carl’s another one who is really committed to his job.
“It’s a nice reward for him to be in the under-21s and, let’s be honest, the next step is the main squad.”
Rovers are unrecognisable from the side John Ward took over at Christmas. Bottom at the time, they are now safely in mid-table after bagging 33 points from his 17 games – losing only four of them.
Parkinson said: “Bristol Rovers finished last season well and they were many people’s favourites to go straight up. But they had an indifferent start and Mark McGhee lost key players to injuries.
“John has come in and really got them going. He’s been around a long time and knows how to win games of football.
“They are one of the form teams in the league – if not THE form team. It’s promotion form.
“I went to see Bristol Rovers beat Exeter 2-0 a couple of weeks ago and they are playing with confidence. But equally so should we after winning on Tuesday.
“The key for us now is to build on that and put in the same level of performance. I was really pleased with the whole team.
“Mez (James Meredith) came through fine and I thought the front two worked really hard. They were a real handful and were two forwards you wouldn’t want to play against.
“There were a lot of good things and it’s the job of the players and myself to make sure we are physically capable of reproducing that tomorrow.”