Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jones Now Rejuvenated; Kenwyne Form Will Give Cats a Boost

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jones Now Rejuvenated; Kenwyne Form Will Give Cats a Boost

Article excerpt

A MUCH-needed return to form by Kenwyne Jones has given Sunderland fresh cause for optimism that they will be able to reverse their alarming slide down the Premier League, writes LUKE EDWARDS.

Jones last month looked a pale shadow of the player who roughed up some of the best defenders in English football as the constant speculation surrounding his future was both a distraction and a confidence wrecker.

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce - who will probably regret the way he initially handled the affair following the public pursuit of Schalke's Kevin Kuranyi - has since made a concerted attempt to reassure the Trinidad and Tobago international he remains an integral part of his plans.

The Journal understands there have been several meetings between the pair to discuss his role in the side, with Bruce keen to see the 25-year-old offering more of a goalscoring threat as well as his usual hold up play.

And, with the window shut, Jones appears to be freshly motivated as he rediscovers the drive and determination which makes him such a potent weapon up front, as well as the ideal foil for strike partner Darren Bent.

"Kenwyne has been great, especially against Wigan," said Bent, whose penalty at Portsmouth was his first goal in three games. "He played really well and showed what he's all about. He held the ball up well, was strong, scored a great goal and hit the post. It's nice to see him roaring, showing people what he can do because he is a fantastic player." Given that Jones has already played a huge role in two successful relegation battles with the Black Cats, it is imperative Sunderland continue to see the best of him, and hopefully the tension between him and Bruce has been relieved. Whether that will be enough to prevent another rush of speculation over the summer regarding his place in the squad remains to be seen, although Sunderland refuse to entertain any thoughts of selling the striker unless a club is willing to match their pounds 16m valuation. …

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