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The Hull City utility player earned his footballing stripes in the black and white of St Mirren during a loan spell in 2018-19 when he swapped the comparatively secure and safe environment of under-23s football at Southampton – where he was captain – for a stint some 435 miles away in Paisley.
It was an early indication of the character of Jones, a strapping centre-half/midfielder raised in the predominantly rugby city of Bristol.
Jones had joined the Buddies for the entire season, but it was not all sweetness and light with the man who brought him to the club in former Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs being sacked in the autumn as the club – promoted back to the top tier of Scottish football at the end of the previous season – struggled for early results.
I said to the lads the other night; let’s go and enjoy it. To be manager on a night like that, with a crowd like that, with a pitch like that with the floodlights on. Wow. If you can’t enjoy that there’s something wrong with you.
“Luckily when I first started there was no social media. It was more enjoyable. It’s difficult for managers now. Everybody’s an expert. But I’m very fortunate with Steve. I tell him how it is before and after a game and he’s the most supportive [Chairman] I’ve probably ever had. He was dead chuffed the other night.”
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Regardless of Warnock’s battle scarred and thick skin in regards to football management and the baggage it brings with it, the opening weeks of the season have been a head scratcher for the Boro boss as his side have struggled for consistency in the league.
A summer of upheaval saw a number of new faces at the Riverside with the likes of Andraz Sporar, James Lea Siliki and Martin Payero all intriguing international acquisitions.