DAVID Jones should need nothing in the way of added motivation for Sunday’s trip to his former club Wolves.
But the Wigan Athletic midfielder will be spurred on by the desire to prove that the critics who are already tipping Latics for the drop are dead wrong.
“Over the last few years, our club has been the one pundits have always tipped to go down before anyone else,” Jones told the Evening Post.
“Personally I try not to take any notice of what gets said in the media, but it does give you a little extra fire in your belly to go and prove people wrong.
“Not that you should need any extra motivation, but elements like that spur us on and we’re determined to turn things round soon.
“I’m very confident that the ability we have in the team here will allow us to go on a really good run of results, we just need that first one to start us off.
“When we get that, you’ll see us turn the results around and move up the table.”
All eyes will naturally be on Jones on his return to Molineux this weekend.
The 26-year-old enjoyed three successful seasons with Wolves after signing from Derby in the summer of 2008.
However, despite being offered a new deal by Mick McCarthy, Jones exercised his right to a free transfer, and joined Latics after a successful trial period.
Having left on decent terms means Jones won’t be overcome by the urge to prove McCarthy or any of his coaching staff wrong for letting him go. But the Southport-born ace admits it would be nice to make a point to a few old pals.
“I’m still in touch with a couple of lads at the club and I’ll no doubt be in touch with them before the game,” Jones revealed.
“I had some really good times playing alongside them but, come Sunday, it’s down to business and that won’t affect my mindset for the game and the job at hand.
“It’ll be a difficult game with both sides needing the points and, for me, returning to Molineux will certainly bring up a few emotions from my days as a Wolves player.
“But, come kick-off, I’ll be 100 per cent focused and ready to do everything in my power to get the points for Wigan Athletic.
“The home crowd at Wolves can be superb at times but, if things aren’t going their way, they can become quite hostile which makes things difficult for the home side.”
That’s been the case in each of the last two years, when Latics have opened up two-goal leads and seen the home support turn on their side.
And after Wigan’s losing streak was extended to eight matches last weekend, some more Molineux magic would certainly be timely.
“The effort and togetherness is something we need to keep up, and if we continue to show that then our quality will shine through,” added Jones.
“Of course there was the initial disappointment after Fulham, but you get back in training and start focusing on the next game. As soon as we step back onto the training pitch, the last game is history and our heads are only concentrated on the next opposition.”