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I want to give defenders a headache for 'unbelievable' GAWA, says new NI winger Jones

 

By Paul Ferguson

Exciting new boy Jordan Jones insists all he wants to do is attack defenders in a Northern Ireland shirt.

The Kilmarnock midfielder was given a surprise debut by boss Michael O'Neill during the second half of Northern Ireland's scoreless draw with Switzerland in Basel on Sunday night.

The Middlesbrough-born 23-year-old, who qualifies for Northern Ireland through his dad, was hungry for the ball and eager to take on the Swiss defence at every opportunity.

He even had an altercation with Swiss superstar Xherdan Shaqiri and didn't back down.

"That's the way I play (taking on full backs)," says Jones. "I just try and get on the ball and try to be as positive as possible. Sometimes it is going to come off and sometimes it isn't. But I just want to try and attack the defenders as much as possible.

"But it's hard to focus on my own performance when there are so many of our squad who are just devastated.

"It was great to share the pitch with players who have achieved so much for Northern Ireland and this is why I'm thinking about my team-mates who are obviously hurting."

Jones admits he was cheering with delight during injury time as he thought Jonny Evans' header towards goal was going to find its way into the back of the net.

That would have meant extra time where the away goals rule would have continued to operate.

"I thought Jonny's effort was in," conceded Jones. "I was on the other side of the pitch and I was basically off celebrating.

"It was a really good clearance and that just added to the devastation for all the players."

Jones watched from the bench last Thursday at Windsor Park as the home support waved their flags, sang their songs and gave the men in green incredible support. Then in St Jakob-Park, despite making up only 5% of the attendance, they created more atmosphere than the Swiss fans.

"I was told before I was named in my first squad how good the Northern Ireland fans were, and I saw it for myself on the telly," adds Jones.

"I can't really thank them enough for the noise and support they give the lads, it really is unbelievable. It is like having another man on the pitch."

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