Jones sets sights on '˜hundreds' more!
Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Jamie Jones admits bringing up 300 career appearances with a clean sheet and three points sums up the way things are going for him at the moment.
The 28-year-old was looking on from the sidelines at the start of the season, with England Under-21 international Christian Walton – on a season-long loan from Brighton – the undisputed top dog.
But Jones has taken advantage of Walton breaking his leg to stake his claim to the No.1 jersey.
Five clean sheets in the last six matches have underpinned Wigan’s rise to second place in the table, with his latest coming last weekend on a special day for him personally.
“To get to 300 starts is a fabulous achievement for me,” he admitted.
“I’m only 28 so I’m still only very young as a goalkeeper.
“Hopefully I can keep that going and there’s a few hundred more games to come.
“I only arrived at the club late in pre-season, and I found out I was going to be second choice,. Christian did get injury, which obviously none of us expected.
“But that’s football. It’s given me a platform, and I think I’ve shown what I can do.”
Jones was hardly-overworked during his latest outing, although he showed his mental strength to remain switched on enough to pull off a fine save in the dying stages to deny Walsall even a consolation.
“It’s always like that at Wigan – that’s the way it’s been for most of the season,” Jones acknowledged.
“As a goalkeeper you’re not going to have much to do, behind the likes of big Dan (Burn) and Chey (Dunkley) who’ve been outstanding this year, and Alex (Bruce) when he’s played.
“It’s all about maintaining concentration for me, and making sure I’m switched on for every one of the 90 minutes.
“I need to be switched on for when the team needs me, and thankfully that’s been the case so far.”
Next up for Latics is this afternoon’s trip to Scunthorpe, which goes ahead despite it being an international weekend.
Latics again had three players called up, including skipper Sam Morsy, but have elected to play the game to avoid a possible fixture pile-up later in the season.
And it’s a decision that has the full backing of Jones.
“It’s good that we’re playing, and not having the weekend off,” the custodian recognised.
“We lost after the last international break, at Shrewsbury, when we weren’t quite at our game.
“This way we’re keeping playing and, as players, that’s all you want to do.”