Al Jazira new boy Kenwyne Jones has warned Arabian Gulf League defences the goals will soon start flying in now his debut is out of the way.
Jones, 31, was thrust into an immediate start on Friday during the 2-2 draw at high-flying Al Wasl less than 48 hours after completing a six-month loan switch from Cardiff City. He didn’t manage to find the back of the net, but his hulking presence played a key role in his side’s second strike.
The Trinidad and Tobago skipper did force an excellent low save from Rashid Ali in the first half and he insisted he would be less generous next time.
“I hope so, that’d be nice,” the ex-Stoke and Sunderland centre forward replied when asked about his hopes of being a regular scorer. “[Friday] was my first time getting used to the team, the players and who we’re playing against.
“I feel quite positive and I’m hopeful in the next 12/13 games the goals will come.”
There is pressure on Jones to swiftly hit the goal trail as he has taken the spot in the four-player foreign quota of excellent 2014-15 top scorer Mirko Vucinic, who is out for the rest of the season after knee surgery.
The former Southampton man has joined a team in the midst of several changes after an expected title fight degenerated into a relegation battle. Dutchman Henk ten Cate made his bow in the dugout at Zabeel Stadium after Abel Braga’s woeful return was prematurely ended last month, while attacking midfielder Angel Lafita also featured from the beginning just days after his switch from Getafe.
Jones was sure better days lie ahead for a crisis club who can “progress easily” from their current 10th spot, just three points above the drop zone.
“It was OK,” he said about his debut. “First game back in the heat was good.
“I see enough room for progress, I don’t see any problem for this team.
“They can progress easily. We just need to tighten up a few things and we’ll be fine.”
Jazira’s new blend must wait until January 22’s home match against Sharjah for their next game. Jones believed hard work on the training ground correcting a defence which has been breached 29 times in 14 matches will gain reward.
He said: “It’s important for me and for the team we have one or two injuries coming back now so the team will get stronger over the next two weeks and then we can push forward again.
“It’s like anywhere in the world. You have moments where you lose a bit of concentration and don’t do things to stay on top of the game.
“But it’s OK – I believe 100 per cent in this team, we have a lot of talent.
“We just need to be better defensively. We lost two goals on set-pieces today, to fix and then we’ll be fine.”
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