"I'm getting different treatment this season from defenders," said Jones who already scored nine goals in 19 games this season.
"In the first season, they didn't know much about me and I got a free ride I suppose. But this season they are more aware of what I can do and they try to target me in different ways.
"I've had to adapt to be prepared for whatever comes at me. Physically, especially, it is a lot more demanding but that's football. I can handle myself out there. I keep on top of my strength and play to my strengths. Hopefully that is doing the job.
"People were talking about me last season as a good target man, but I wasn't scoring enough goals. It's been nice this season to combine the two things.
"I've missed a big chunk of the season and it's great to be back in.
Whether or not I'm playing brilliantly or not, just to be playing again is the most important thing. I'm relaxed about my performances.
Jones has proved to be the most astute signing of the Roy Keane era at the Stadium of Light.
He joined Sunderland from Southampton 18 months ago but such has been his progress that Tottenham had a big-money bid turned down for his services last month.
Despite Spurs's attentions, Jones committed himself to the Wearside club a fortnight ago by signing a new four-and-a-half year contract and now Sunderland are reaping the benefits as they inch up the league.
"The league table looks a lot nicer than it did," Jones said. "We're seven points away from the bottom three after this win and it was most important we got the three points today. We do have a little breathing space now and we feel a lot better being where we are.
"We're not looking up or down. We're just concentrating on what we have to do to make sure we stay out of any trouble.
"If you spend all your time concentrating on what is ahead of you, or below you, it's easy to lose your focus. We want to keep climbing the table, but they only way to do that is to keep picking up points.
"This team has always had resilience. We have always had a nice habit of scoring late goals and that has become something of a trademark. We keep going to the end and we've got two late goals again to break some stubborn resistance. Perhaps it suits us better scoring goals late on than early.
"Our basic objective this season was to maintain our Premier League status.
That was the most important thing for us. But we also wanted to try and finish higher up the table than last season because we want to maintain the progress this club has made in the last few years.
"That is something we are trying to do and the points we have picked up in the last few games have given us a stronger position in the league."