Billy Jones talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Whilst injuries may have hampered Billy Jones’ start to life at AESSEAL New York Stadium, the desire within the club to defy the odds in the Sky Bet Championship has not been lost on the experienced operator.
Jones, who joined from Sunderland in the summer, has drawn comparisons between Crewe Alexandra, where he spent the formative years of his career, to the Millers current fight to establish themselves amongst some of English football’s most prestigious clubs in the second tier.
The now-31-year-old was making his name at Gresty Road during the club’s years in the Championship and believes that the early signs with Rotherham United suggest they are better equipped to compete with the division’s elite.
“At the time our main target was to stop in the league being in there with some really big clubs,” Jones said of his time with Crewe.
“There were some massive teams in with the likes of West Ham and it was great to be playing against the so-called bigger players and clubs.
“The similarities are there. I feel that we've got a much better squad than what we did at the time with Crewe and I think that has shown with the start we've had.
“I think our performance at the weekend was really, really good and its set the level for where we need to be performing every game.”
Jones’ CV in the game means that he possesses an extensive knowledge of the qualities needed to succeed at second tier level and the defender took time to praise the management and coaching staff with the Millers, who he believes equip the team with all the necessary information each time they go into battle.
“From the coaching and the management point of view, every game that we go into we work very hard on our game plan, attacking-wise and defensively, and it's just really refreshing,” he continued.
“We're giving ourselves every chance within every game.
“At previous clubs that hasn't been the case at times. We would maybe go into games a little bit underprepared but here, there's no stone left unturned.”
Injuries have prevented Jones from establishing himself as a first team regular so far, with Bristol City defender Zak Vyner having been a mainstay in the right back berth this season, however, the former Sunderland and West Brom man insists he has enjoyed his start to life in Rotherham.
“It's been great. I had an opportunity to play in the cup but got injured in that game against Wigan and it came at a bad time. Fortunately, I was only out for a couple of weeks and then I was straight back into it.
“I'm really enjoying being here. When I came the gaffer spoke about what a close-knit group we are and the great lads we've got here and that's definitely the case. It's a great group and everyone is willing to work hard for each other, we're all pulling in the same direction.”