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Kenwyne Jones vs WalsallSTOKE star Kenwyne Jones is revelling in his new-found freedom after winning the eye of new boss Mark Hughes.

In what many will see as an outspoken attack on previous manager Tony Pulis, the Trinidad international says he feels liberated since the change of boss.

Jones, who has started Stoke’s last four games, believes his goalscoring horizons have now widened because more chances will be created.

“We are able to express ourselves and be free,” he said. “Now we can try things as footballers and that’s the only way to improve as a footballer.

“You are not restricted into that regiment of ‘sky’ football.

“Before, it was more or less hit and hope, and I think my team-mates could testify to that.

“In the past it was very hard to come by chances and if you look at our record of shots on goal and goals scored, it was probably the lowest because we weren’t playing the type of football to create chances.

“Before, we were basically playing percentages,” added Jones, who scored five in 12 starts and 16 substitute appearances last term.

He says no-one should be surprised that players at the club last season are now able to adapt to a greater passing game under Hughes.

“We weren’t allowed to play in the last regime, which was a waste of talent,” claimed Jones, who was talking during a visit to Newstead Primary School in Blurton yesterday organised by the Stoke City Community Trust, which is sponsored by The Co-operative.

“We have a lot of internationals and good football players and so it was quite easy to make the change.
“He (Hughes) must have been surprised we took to it so quickly, but I always believed we had enough in there to play that type of football – and we are showing that.”

Jones says there is more ambition away from home under Hughes following a more cautious approach under Pulis.

“It’s not like the old days where we would go on the road and hope,” he said. “I think people are surprised by the way we are playing football.

“We are quite confident now, but we do have to show that from the first minute to the last.

“I would be disappointed if we don’t finish in the top 10, knowing the potential we have and seeing the way we have played from the beginning of the season so far.

“I think we have had a squad that could produce the type of football that could produce results, but it wasn’t on display for the last two years. Now we have the chance under a new philosophy to express ourselves.

“You don’t have to hear it from me, just watch the games and training to see how we go about our jobs.”
Meanwhile, Jones has denied reports last week that he is about to sit down to discuss a new contract with Stoke.

“That’s absolutely wrong,” he stated. But he added: “Talks are always welcome. Whether or not we have a resolution at the end of the talks we will see.”