ALEX Jones hopes his spell as City’s forgotten striker is over.

Jones has had a tough start to the season as he finds himself down the pecking order in Stuart McCall’s front line.

But after scoring his fifth goal in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Chesterfield, the 23-year-old feels he can start to put that tough spell behind him.

Jones said: “Everyone will tell you it’s frustrating when you haven’t been in the team for a while.

“But the only time you can really stake a claim and put a marker down is out there on the pitch. That’s what I tried to do.

“I enjoyed the game. It was good to get back out there, get some minutes under my belt and to score a goal.

“It’s taken a while for me this season and I don’t know why.

“To be honest, I don’t think I started the season particularly well. I didn’t show that I was that sharp.

“But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt that sharpness coming back and it was good to take that opportunity in the game. Hopefully I’ve shown the gaffer what I can do.”

Jones also set up Alex Gilliead for the opener in City’s 2-0 Valley Parade victory to book their place in tonight’s second-round draw.

It was Gilliead’s first goal for his loan club and the Bantams are agreeing a deal with Newcastle to keep the winger for the whole season.

Jones has started only one of City’s last 13 league games – all of his goals have come in cup competitions. He had previously scored twice against Chesterfield in the Checkatrade Trophy.

He added: “As a player, you’ve just got to get in that professional mindset. Whether there are 20,000 out there or 4,000, it’s still a game.

“Especially for me, because I haven’t played that much, these are the games where I’ve had to prove myself. I’ve had to be as professional as I can.

“But I don’t think there was a single player on the pitch who took Chesterfield lightly.

“There is a lot of competition up front but that can only be a good thing. It keeps everyone on their toes and you know you’ve got to be on your game 100 per cent of the time.

“If you’re not, then there’s someone else on the bench who’ll come and take that shirt from you.

“Hopefully I’ve come through that (difficult period) now. It was my fifth goal in the games I’ve played so I just want to build on that now and try to force my way into the team.”

McCall restored his partnership up front with Charlie Wyke as City played two wingers. Jones relished the opportunity to rekindle a double act that most saw as the first-choice attacking pairing going into the season.

Jones said: “He’s fantastic to play with. I’m not the biggest so it’s a lot more difficult for me to play up there on my own.

“It’s not really my game as the target man the way Chas plays, so I feel can express myself a bit more when I’ve got someone else up there fighting the centre halves and I can pick up the pieces.”