SMART ALEX

Af­ter his Port Vale stint, Alex Jones is de­ter­mined to shine for Brad­ford City

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Ben Baker

ALEX Jones is Port Vale’s top goalscorer this sea­son, so it was no sur­prise to see him bag an­other at Vale Park last week­end.

How­ever, last Satur­day’s ef­fort was Jones’ first in a Brad­ford City shirt, although the striker still hopes the Valiants can sur­vive the drop this sea­son.

Jones en­joyed a six-month loan spell with Vale from Cham­pi­onship side Birm­ing­ham City to start this cam­paign, scor­ing ten goals in all com­pe­ti­tions – four more than clos­est chal­lenger Remie Streete head­ing into this week­end.

But just as it ap­peared he would make the move per­ma­nent in Jan­uary, per­sonal terms could not be agreed and the 22year-old was snapped up by Brad­ford for an undis­closed fee on a two-and-a-half-year con­tract.

Jones’ time in York­shire got off to a bumpy start as he strug­gled with a knee in­jury, but in his fifth Ban­tams out­ing he fi­nally got him­self on the score­sheet.

Tri­umph

That goal proved to be the win­ner in a 2-1 tri­umph over Port Vale last Satur­day and even though he cel­e­brated the land­mark, Jones in­sists he only wishes good things for his strug­gling for­mer club this sea­son.

“It’s been a bit ofa frus­trat­ing time for me over the last few months,” Jones said. “The last few games of my loan at Port Vale I wasn’t play­ing as I was ill and then I came to Brad­ford, didn’t score and then was in­jured for five weeks.

“It was a lit­tle an­noy­ing re­ally so I was re­ally pleased to score my first goal and I want to build on that now.

“I have said all along that Port Vale gave me a life­line. They be­lieved in me so I will al­ways be grate­ful to them. If it wasn’t for them then I wouldn’t be where I am now.

“I cel­e­brated my goal but I was al­ways go­ing to cel­e­brate my goal. It was my first for Brad­ford, it was a big goal and I was get­ting a bit of stick from the fans so I thought I would def­i­nitely cel­e­brate.

“But I hold Port Vale in high re­gard and hope­fully they can stay up. They have had a bit of a tur­bu­lent sea­son but hope­fully now Browny (Michael Brown) is in charge they can start pick­ing up the points and sur­vive this sea­son.”

Port Vale could do with Jones’ goals as they bid to es­cape the drop zone, but the front­man now has a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge on his hands as he bids to get Brad­ford back into the Cham­pi­onship.

The vic­tory at Vale Park snapped a four-game win­less league run for the Ban­tams as they headed into yes­ter­day’s ac­tion ly­ing fifth in League One.

Op­por­tu­nity

And Jones is rel­ish­ing be­ing in the thick of the ac­tion af­ter un­suc­cess­ful spells with West Brom and Birm­ing­ham.

“When I was with West Brom and Birm­ing­ham I never re­ally got an op­por­tu­nity, for what­ever rea­son,” he added.

“The last two or three years when I was 19 to 21 were the most frus­trat­ing in my ca­reer so it’s great to now be at Brad­ford and I re­ally want to make the most of it.

“Brad­ford’s at­ten­dances are some­times more than some Cham­pi­onship clubs get and the at­mos­phere in front of 20,000 peo­ple is amaz­ing. When we go away, the trav­el­ling sup­port we get is in­cred­i­ble. It wasn’t that long ago that the club were in the Pre­mier League so every­one wants to help Brad­ford get back there. “The first step is ob­vi­ously pro­mo­tion and we are right in the mix. We be­lieve we can beat any­one on our day. “We have to keep press­ing and give our fans some­thing to cel­e­brate come the end of the sea­son.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

CHANG­ING SIDES: Brad­ford for­ward Alex Jones en­joys his goal against Port Vale, shown in­set right, last week­end and, in­set top, cel­e­brat­ing for Port Vale ear­lier this term

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