Forgotten man 'rolled back the years' as he sent Wigan Athletic manager a strong message

Shaun Maloney believes Wigan Athletic fans are in for a real treat - in the shape of the 'real' Jordan Jones.
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The 28-year-old winger's career has stalled since joining Latics from Rangers in the summer of 2021.

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Jones has made only 20 appearances in the ensuing period - only three of which have been league starts.

Jordan Jones issued a timely reminder of his capabilities in midweek against FleetwoodJordan Jones issued a timely reminder of his capabilities in midweek against Fleetwood
Jordan Jones issued a timely reminder of his capabilities in midweek against Fleetwood
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Indeed, for the majority of that time, he has been out on loan, spending last season at Kilmarnock, after playing out the second half of the 2021-22 campaign at St Mirren.

Maloney, though, has been keen to bring Jones back into the fold after taking over as manager at the turn of the year.

After failing in a last-gap bid to bring the Northern Ireland international back on transfer deadline day in January, he wiped the slate clean at the start of this season.

While he's made only one league appearance off the bench against Barnsley, Jones has impressed during his two run-outs in the EFL Trophy.

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The second of which, against Fleetwood in midweek, saw Jones singled out for praise by his manager, who says he saw traces of the talent that saw him win a glamour move to Rangers in the summer of 2019.

"I think everyone on Tuesday saw the Jordan Jones I knew of four or five years ago, which probably most people haven't seen before," said the Latics boss.

"It was the form that got Rangers to sign him, and I haven't seen him play like that for years.

"But that takes hard work, and it also takes a really strong mentality.

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"Because he hasn't made squads recently, and it has been difficult.

"He hasn't made squads because of what Martial (Godo) has done, what Callum (McManaman) has done, producing really great moments.

"But now Jordan is at a place where he is pushing.

"And if he continues to perform like that, then football makes the decision.

"I'm just really pleased for him on a personal level as well."

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Jones recently admitted he's 'desperate' to make the most of his second chance at the DW - after overcoming an injury nightmare.

He also spoke of the massive boost of working with a manager who has shown faith in his ability.

"The manager showed huge belief in me in January by trying to recall me from my loan spell, which unfortunately didn't happen," Jones acknowledged.

"I really appreciated it though, and I was desperate to come back after the summer and make a real fresh start.

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"I've known the manager for a while, he was also the Hibs manager for a spell.

"I was over the moon when he tried to call me back, it was the chance to play for this club, which is all I ever wanted to do.

"What happened was beyond disappointing, and was very hard to deal with for a while.

"But look, it's happened, and everything else that's happened at this club, that's also happened, and I just want to be positive about the future."