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The 24-year-old Trinidad & Tobago international remains remarkably laid-back after one of the most eventful weeks in his career.

It began with Tottenham making what they hoped would be a decisive bid for the former Southampton frontman - some reports have suggested it amounted to as much as £20million, continued when he put pen to paper on a new four-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light and will end on Sunday with an eagerly-anticipated derby trip to arch-rivals Newcastle.

But through it all, Jones has maintained the trademark calm with which he approaches his career, and indeed, his life.

He adopted the same stance when former boss Roy Keane suggested last season he was as good a striker as there was in the Barclays Premier League and was worth £40million just months after paying £6million for him, and is not about to allow himself to be carried away now.

Current boss Ricky Sbragia admitted after seeing Jones score the only goal in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Fulham that even the man himself does not realise how good he could become.

But the striker is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

Jones said: "The thing about that is, some people think they can be the best in the world - you can't blame them for thinking that - but then sometimes, they never get there.

"Then some people don't think anything of themselves and then they end up being great or good, or whatever the case is.

"Myself, I let things progress naturally. Of course, I am going to believe in myself and believe in the talent I have, but to say that in the next two years, I am going to end up the best player in the world...

"Some people do it, but I don't think I have control over where I am going to be at that point.

"The only thing I have control over is how hard I work and how best I try to develop myself.

"Hopefully, that could be where everyone thinks."

Jones has firmly established himself as top-flight player since Sunderland put their faith in him during the summer of 2007.

He was top scorer last season with seven goals, and his strike this week took him to eight for the current campaign even though he did not make his comeback from the knee injury he suffered on international duty in June until the end of October.

Both he and his manager admit he still has a lot to learn, but while Jones will look to the Premier League's top marksmen for tips, he insists he will do things his own way.

He said: "There are certain things you can look to take from certain players, certain things they do, you might try.

"But at the end of the day, there is a reason why there is one Didier Drogba, one Cristiano Ronaldo, one Wayne Rooney.

"Everyone is individual and you have to develop into that talent you are meant to be.

"I am me, myself and I."

Jones and his team-mates head for St James' Park determined to cash in on the Magpies' mounting problems by securing a first league double over Newcastle since the 1966-67 season.

That might help to erase the memories of the corresponding fixture last season when a Michael Owen double condemned the Black Cats to a comprehensive defeat.

Jones said: "Last year, it didn't happen for us. We went there and we lost the game. But this year, we are looking to put that right.

"You don't want to go to your biggest rivals and lose by that margin, but that's football, it happens. Hopefully this year, we can put it right."