Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Thursday February 14 2008
Rams forgotten man ready to start
When Billy Davis signed David Jones from Manchester United it looked the Rams had stolen the Welshman from the Red Devils for one million pounds.
But after a good start in the Championship Jones struggled with injuries and form and was having to do with a place on the bench.
But after surgery to repair a hernia he is now determined to force his way into manager Paul Jewell's plans after his recover.
On Saturday the midfielder made his first appearance for the Rams since November when he went on as a 78th-minute substitute in the 0-3 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.
The 23-year-old hopes to press for a starting midfield role soon. He told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "I want to play every game and it kills you if you're not involved with things.
"But it's my job to try and change that. I want to show the manager, in training and in the other opportunities I get, what I can do."
He added: "I'm feeling all right, I just need match fitness.
"After a hernia op, it does take a while for it to be completely healed. But I'm feeling strong in that area now. It's just about getting more games on the pitch."
Jones is yet to start under Jewell, who took charge at Pride Park a few days after Jones was sidelined through injury, but he played the full 90 minutes in Derby County Reserves' 0-5 defeat by Reading last night.
"It's taken me a while to get back but I'm glad to be out there again," he said.
"I've been training for a couple of weeks but I need matches to try and get back to fitness. You need that sharpness."
There have been a number of changes at Pride Park since Jones last played but the Welshman hopes the club is heading in the right direction off the pitch, with the club being taken over by American company General Sports and Entertainment.
"There have been a few changes," he said.
"It's just been hard not to play while watching everything else that's happened."
Jones believes investment in the club could take the Rams to the next level.
"It's one of many recent takeovers in the Premier League," said Jones.
"It could take Derby to the next level. It's all about investment in the football team.
"We've seen it at other clubs.
"When money is put into it, we've seen the results.
"So, hopefully, it will lead to some good results on the pitch."
Date:Thursday February 14 2008
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