Jones hoping for opportunity

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DAVID Jones is hoping a solid week’s training will give Roberto Martinez food for thought ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.

The former Manchester United midfielder has been on the outside looking in over the past few weeks with Roger Espinoza joining James McCarthy and James McArthur in the Latics engine room.

But with all three away with their countries on international duty – Espinoza with Honduras, McCarthy for Ireland and McArthur to Scotland – Jones knows there could be changes for the Stamford Bridge encounter.

“Everyone’s looking forward to the Chelsea game, and there could be places up grabs with a few of the lads being away on international duty,” Jones acknowledged.

“I think there’s 11 away in total and that might lead to some changes, so the rest of us have to be ready.

“Hopefully it’ll be a good week’s training and we’ll see what happens.”

Jones managed to put a solid run of games together prior to Christmas, before a niggling injury saw him drop to the bench.

“I managed to get a few games under my belt earlier in the season, I really enjoyed it and I definitely feel I’ve still got something to offer,” Jones (right) added.

“I had a bit of tightness down the side of my knee over the Christmas period, but I’m back to 100 per cent now and raring to go.

“I’m eager to get back in there – I’ve been on the bench and I’m waiting for my chance to get back involved.”

With Arouna Kone having been away at the African Nations Cup, Martinez has tweaked his formation in recent weeks, with an extra man being employed in the midfield.

“The manager likes to vary things depending on who we’re playing,” Jones recognised.

“We do a lot of work on that in training so we’re familiar with what he wants us to do.

“We changed the formation last season, and a lot of teams found it difficult to cope with that.

“One or two sides have perhaps got to grips with it this year, and the challenge for us is to try to make sure it remains just as effective.”