Keane hails Jones contribution
Roy Keane says Kenwyne Jones has a lot of potential but has played down comparisons to Didier Drogba.
Last Updated: 04/11/08 4:38pm
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Sunderland boss Roy Keane believes Kenwyne Jones has a lot of potential, but has played down comparisons with Chelsea's Didier Drogba.
Jones was outstanding in helping the Black Cats to stay in the Premier League last term following his £6million switch from Southampton two summers ago.
But he has suffered from injury this season and only made his first start on Saturday in the 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The game also saw Drogba come on as a substitute as he continues his own recovery from injury.
Some pundits have made comparisons between the two big frontmen but Keane believes this is premature.
The Sunderland boss said: "To compare him to the Didier Drogbas of the world at the moment is a little premature.
"Drogba has done a lot more in the game. He's older, he's more experienced, had more international games etc.
"But yeah, the people who work with Kenwyne think he has all the attributes to be a top, top centre-forward."
He added: "Kenwyne has a hell of a chance in terms of potential - but then I think I have a chance, potentially, of being a very good manager.
"Potential is one thing, it's fulfilling it which is the important thing.
"It's up to us and the players around Kenwyne to help him along the way because we believe he might have a fantastic career ahead of him - and hopefully, that fantastic career will be at Sunderland."
Jones scored only seven goals in his first season on Wearside, but Keane believes his goal tally suffered through a lack of service.
While he failed to reach double figures, Keane believes Jones brought other qualities to the table.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "Last season, I thought he was outstanding for us - and he did it in a team which wasn't exactly giving him great service, particularly in wide positions.
"We were under the cosh in a lot of those games rather than concentrating on attacking.
"And even last season, he was one of our best players in terms of defending and corners and getting in more than his fair share of clearances. He did it again the other night against Stoke City.
"It's great when you have got a player who can be that strong for you defensively.
"But of course, we want to see him doing damage in the other box, being a threat in there.
"It's important that we get the right service into him there. Over the next few weeks and months as he gets fitter and stronger, he will certainly cause a lot of defenders problems.
"As much as I thought he produced miracles last season, we really have to get the right service to him. We won't get the very best out of him until we do."