Sidebar

23
Mon, Oct
51 New Articles

Typography

jones7KENWYNE Jones goes in against Portsmouth tomorrow with no hard feelings against the man who put him out of football for the best part of six months.

Jones suffered serious knee damage at the start of June when he represented Trinidad & Tobago against England and was hurt in a crunching tackle with David James.

But he says it will be professional rather than personal if the two come up against each other at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

Jones told the Gazette: "It was a very bad injury, but after it happened he texted me and I texted him back, plus he had his public apology in the paper.

"So I don't really bear any grudges because that sort of thing happens in football. We move on.

"Things are all right with me now physically, so there's no need to make any more of it than it was.

"It's a long time since the injury, and you have to remember that this is football, things like this happen.

"It wasn't a malicious challenge so there's no point in trying to bear grudges.

"I'm still here and I'm still playing, so I thank God for that."

This Saturday against James and Portsmouth could be the Sunderland striker's first full 90 minutes of the season.

He has played 30 minutes against Newcastle United, a full half against Stoke City and an hour against Chelsea on the comeback trail.

And now, six months after suffering an injury which it was first feared had ended his 2008-09 season, Jones could be ready for a full game.

He said: "I'm slowly getting back in my own mind to being a 100 per cent fit Kenwyne Jones, mentally and physically.

"Whether I am fully fit or not, we will have to wait and see on the pitch – that's where you find out.

"Hopefully though, I'll be back to my best this Saturday."

After the disappointment of two defeats in a row, Jones is determined that Sunderland bounce back against Portsmouth in a fixture which brought a morale-boosting 2-0 win last season after a similarly disappointing run.

Jones admitted: "It was a great result for us when we needed it last season, and with a bit of luck it will be the same again this time around.

"The team played very well that day, if I remember, at a time when we had to get points on the board."

The big striker has had massive backing from Sunderland fans on his return, and is looking forward to being in front of home fans tomorrow.

"It's always great to hear your fans behind you," he said. "And against Portsmouth we have the advantage of home support.

"We carry a large following everywhere we go, and it's a big help to us on the road.

"But at home it is a bigger advantage when all you hear is Sunderland fans.

"We disappointed our supporters last week against Chelsea, but we know they will be behind us tomorrow, and with a bit of luck we can give them something to cheer about.

"We want to win this game to begin climbing the table again, to start getting back to where we want to be.

"So I'm hoping we can get another win, just like the last time the two teams met."