Midfielder Michael Jones admitted this week that he’s his own worst critic having just put in one of his best performances of the season so far in the Emirates FA Cup away draw at Gillingham on Saturday.
“My performance at the weekend could possibly have been my best this season,” he agreed. “If I’m being honest, my performances have been a bit hit and miss this year compared to last season.
“I thought I was consistent last year, but this season it’s been frustrating. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come back from my injury and I just haven’t been as tip-top fitness wise, or something like that.
“Obviously as a team we haven’t started as well so there are a few things in there. I’m the kind of person who’ll keep working hard and I won’t let bad performances get to me. I’ll always try and respond with a good performance.
“I came off against Morecambe and I hate being subbed, so to go out and give a good performance at Gillingham was important for myself.”
“I try to put good performances in every week but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen,” he continued. “I prepare the same way every week and work hard in training every day, but sometimes you go out on a Saturday and things just don’t happen for you.
“There’s nothing you can do about it. You go home and you’re annoyed, and you take it out on your missus a little bit, but you just have to work hard again come Monday.”
On being his own fiercest critic, he said: “I do demand a lot of myself, but I think you have to. There’s no point in setting your targets low.
“Going back to the first game of the season, I made a mistake against Swindon and I walked out of the stadium and past my mum and dad, without even saying hello to them. I got home and thought - I shouldn’t have done that - but that’s how hung up I get if I do make a mistake.
“If I put in a bad performance it annoys me because I know my preparation is always spot on. When it doesn’t go right on a Saturday all you can do is blame yourself.
“Sometimes you misplace a pass and think ‘why is that happening’ but you’ve got to get over it and keep cracking on. Things do turn for you if you keep working hard and doing the right things, I’m a big believer in that.”
On the recent team form which has seen the Blues become extremely difficult to beat, he commented: “We definitely look a lot more solid this season. We maybe aren’t as adventurous going the other way, but that’s not a bad thing.
“Last year we were having to score two or three goals to win games, but that isn’t the case this year. We aren’t scoring as many, but I think in the long run it will definitely benefit us as a team, in terms of being more solid at the back.
“We’re still in a good position, there’s still a lot of games to play and we’re not even at half way yet. We aren’t where we want to be in the league but there’s loads of time and I believe we will be up there. We’ve now got to start turning good performances into consistent wins.
“We need to get in that top half and cement our place then we can look to kick on from there. We’ll be looking to start that against Newport and come away with the three points.”
And the return to Brunton Park next Tuesday is the replay with Gillingham for the right to host Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in round three of this season’s FA Cup competition.
“We were close to getting Chelsea in the draw, weren’t we, but we knew that whoever we got there was still a job to do against Gillingham on Tuesday,” he told us. “It’s a good draw, I was at Wednesday for a while, so I know what kind of support they would bring, and things like that.
“It would be a good third round tie, but we know Gillingham are a good team and they’ll be thinking the same. Having said that, we’ll fancy ourselves at home next week.”
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