Belfast Telegraph

Jones thrilled to be a part of new wave of stars

 

By Steven Beacom

Jordan Jones is confident that Northern Ireland have an exciting and bright future ahead and he is determined to play his part.

The Kilmarnock winger, having made his debut as a substitute in the second leg of the World Cup play-off against Switzerland in November, was on from the start versus South Korea at the weekend in his first outing at Windsor Park.

Jones showed flashes of brilliance during the 2-1 victory and believes that Michael O'Neill's side can kick on with the blend of youth and experience in Saturday's line-up.

He said: "It was a very enjoyable afternoon and the boys showed great character to come back from 1-0 down. I think the future is looking bright and positive. We only really had five days with what was a new squad.

"Although there was experience, we had a lot of new faces. It's very exciting, with the new faces alongside the older pros. The more we all work together the better it will be."

Jones added: "I loved every minute and thought the atmosphere was fantastic. It was just great to be part of it.

"You learn a lot playing against a side like South Korea. Quite quickly you realise not to expect as much of the ball so when you do get it you have to use it as well as you can. When I got the ball I tried to get the team well up the pitch."

Jones was substituted in the 82nd minute, replaced by Paul Smyth who four minutes later scored the winner.

Smiling, the Killie hero said after the match: "I've just given him a slap in the changing room as I'm probably going to be on the bench next game! He was fantastic and all credit to him, he deserves it."

Jones will now return to his club and is determined to finish the season in style with big games against Celtic and Rangers to come. He wants to keep his form going to ensure he makes Northern Ireland's summer tour of Panama and Costa Rica.

"We've got top six so now need to focus on fourth. We've got the belief and fourth would make it fantastic all-round," he said.

"We've done really well against both Celtic and Rangers this season so hopefully going into the split we can continue that and finish as strong as we've been.

"I just need to play as well as I can at club level."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph