KENWYNE Jones launched Stoke on their way to last night's handsome victory and then declared: "It's great to be back."
Jones powered home an early header on his return to action after picking up a hamstring injury in the Carling Cup tie against Tottenham on September 20.
"I'm happy to be back out there for my first game," said the popular Trinidadian.
"I'm happy to get the goal, but playing the 90 minutes is the most important thing. It was important to get used to playing a full game again after what was a serious injury.
"It was a grade two tear and it was the first-ever hamstring injury I've had. I'm fine at the moment and I am happy for that."
Jones had every sympathy with strike partner Cameron Jerome after he was shown a second yellow card after being accused of using his arm against Maccabi left-back Yoav Ziv shortly before half-time.
"I don't think it was a sending off, but we abide by the rules of Europe," said Jones. "I'm gutted for him, but we are thankful for the contribution he made when he was on the pitch."
Jerome departed for an early half-time cuppa after he and Ryan Shotton had already added to that early header from Jones to leave Stoke home and hosed at 3-0 up.
All of which leaves Stoke – and Jones in particular – in good heart heading to Arsenal on Sunday for their date with Arsene Wenger's men.
"I've played quite a few times there and it's a great atmosphere and a great stadium," said Jones.
"I'm happy to be back playing football again and hopefully I can stay healthy."
He acknowledged Arsenal's recent improvement, but insisted Stoke go there looking for a first win in four attempts since promotion to the Premier League.
"We are not too bothered about what people are saying as Arsenal are still a big team and you respect them for that.
"We have to try and impress ourselves on them. Our aim is to win games and that's what we are in the league for.
"And it's going to be no different at Arsenal on Sunday."