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Jones Searching For 90-Minute Performance

1 October 2021

Alfie Jones has called for his side to deliver a 90-minute performance when Middlesbrough visit the MKM Stadium.

Although pleased with elements of the team’s displays over the last nine matches, the centre-back believes performing more consistently throughout the full game will be the key to turning results around.

“We’ve had a lot of positive spells in games and we need to do that for the whole 90 minutes and take our chances more,” Jones admitted.

“There have been a lot of positives within games that show us we have the capability to get results.

“It’s just that final bit in the final third to put the ball in the back of the net, which is the most important thing.

“We just need that all round 90-minute performance. That will definitely come and we’ve got the capability to do that.

“We’re ten games in and now is the point where we need to start turning the results around, picking up results and getting the wins. I don’t think we’re far away from that. We’ve had chances in games, we just need to take them.”

A chance taken by Tom Eaves six minutes from time earned Hull City a battling 1-1 draw with Blackpool in midweek.

The omens didn't look promising after Lewie Coyle was shown red with the hosts trailing to Shayne Lavery’s first-half volley.

But the spirited Tigers came on strong to level in the closing stages and Jones believes such a response could prove a watershed moment in the season.

“We showed great character on Tuesday and I’m hoping that will be the turning point for us,” said Jones.

Alfie Jones Blackpool H Sep 2021.jpg

“That character – we need to take that into every game. It’s all about outrunning teams, outbattling teams and implementing our game in the style we play more efficiently, taking our chances and stopping them getting chances.”

The Blackpool game was Jones’ second in succession after missing the previous five due to a thigh problem, and the defender is hoping his injury worries are a thing of the past.

“I feel good now and I’m hoping I’m over the little niggles and knocks. It’s been a frustrating start to the season for me – a bit stop-start, picking up those injuries.

“It’s a little setback and you have to reset yourself and go again to get up to speed. Hopefully, now I can stay in the team and get a run of games under my belt.”

After spells in League One and the Scottish Premiership, Jones is experiencing Championship football for the first time this season and has noticed a step up in quality.

“The pace in the Championship is a lot faster than last year and the players and teams are better. There are a lot more athletes in this league, there’s a higher tempo and it’s end to end.

Alfie Jones Stoke A 2021.jpg

“There are a lot of clever players, especially strikers; they’ve got good movement and a lot of experience.”

Jones and his teammates’ next Championship challenge comes against a Boro side who defeated Sheffield United 2-0 in midweek, and he says the Tigers must stand up to the physical test.

“They’re a good team, a good club. They picked up a great result on Tuesday so they’re going to be full of confidence.

“They’ve got a lot of physical players in their team and they’re also good on the ball. It’ll be a tough challenge but it’s one we’ll relish and look forward to.

“We know we have the capability to impose ourselves on the game and get a result at home.

The Tigers remain without a win on home soil and Jones is determined to put that statistic to bed.

“We need that first home win – it’s massive. We need to improve on that and it starts from Saturday.

“Especially in this league, home form is really important so we need to get that for the confidence, as well as the fans.”

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