Sunderland’s Jones eyes the right role

Sunderland's Billy Jones.
Sunderland's Billy Jones.
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BILLY JONES is eagerly awaiting the return of fellow full-backs Patrick van Aanholt and Anthony Reveillere, so he can return to his favoured right-back role.

With Sunderland’s defensive options down to the bare bones, head coach Gus Poyet has had little option than to rush Jones back from injury and deploy him at left-back for the Black Cats’ last two games.

But while happy to fill in there, by his own admission, Jones is more comfortable on the opposite flank.

It is only likely to be a temporary measure though with injured pair van Aanholt and Reveillere both due back in full training next week to compete for the left-back berth.

“I’m happy to fill in at left-back, but I feel like I can only do so well there,” said Jones.

“I feel like my best position is right-back.

“Patrick was doing really well at left-back and Anthony as well.

“I’m sure the competition will only be improved in January as well.”

Jones will almost certainly remain at left-back for New Year’s Day’s trip to Manchester City, and probably for Sunday’s visit of Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.

Sunderland were comfortably beaten by Man City earlier this month, albeit the Premier League champions will not be able to call upon the injured Sergio Aguero this week after the Argentine netted twice at the Stadium of Light.

But after Sunderland recorded a 2-2 draw at the Etihad last season – the result which began their dramatic escape from the drop – and second bottom Burnley achieved the same scoreline last weekend, Jones says the Black Cats have to be quietly confident.

“We’re going into the game against Man City as underdogs and maybe the pressure is more off from our perspective,” added the 27-year-old.

“But we believe in our shape and being solid.

“We feel we can go there and get a positive result.

“Obviously the lads did that last year, so we’ve got that to reflect on.

“We know what we need to do and saw that Burnley got a draw there.

“But we know we’ll have to be 100 per cent at it and perform well as a team to get anything.”