Jones calls for fire
Kenwyne Jones aims to write himself into Sunderland folklore as he prepares for his first Wear-Tyne derby.
Last Updated: 09/11/07 9:00am
Kenwyne Jones aims to write himself into Sunderland folklore as he prepares for his first Wear-Tyne derby on Saturday.
The 23-year-old frontman has been a big hit at the Stadium of Light since his £6million summer move from Southampton.
He already has four goals to his name - scoring three of the side's last four - and would cement his place as a local favourite if he claimed the decisive strike against Newcastle.
Jones said: "A derby match is always fiery and intense. I guess it is more important for the fans that we beat Newcastle, and I know we are up for that.
"But every game for us this season is very, very, very important, so we will have to treat all of them like derbies."
Jones's excellent start has catapulted him into the limelight and made him a marked man already, although he is only too well aware how things can change in football.
He said: "I'm not bothered by it because at the end of the day, as fast as you get the attention is as fast as you can lose it.
"I am not really bothered by it."
Monday night's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City was the Black Cats' fourth in five games, and they have not collected all three points since the 2-1 win over Reading on September 15.
Manager Roy Keane has taken little comfort from decent performances in defeat at Arsenal and West Ham, while they might have snatched victory in a concerted fightback against Fulham last time out on Wearside after a dreadful first-half display.
However, he has been delighted with the effort and application of his players throughout the opening months of their first season back in the top flight.
That has come from the spirit fostered within the squad, and Jones is confident that will only grow as the campaign goes on.
He said: "Mostly everyone is new to this league, so we are definitely looking forward to every game and I do not think there is any reason for us to be below par.
"But hopefully, we can get it even higher and get a few results."