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Jones will be fit to face Blues
Published : 18 Mar 2010 10:26:09Rss feed
SUNDERLAND striker Kenwyne Jones is in contention to start against Birmingham City on Saturday after test results allayed fears he was set to be sidelined for a month. Jones aggravated a hip injury in Sunday's draw to Manchester City and the prospect of being without their inspirational target man threatened to derail the revival that has seen Sunderland lose only one of their last seven matches. Jones has not returned to training and he will receive more treatment before the weekend but positive noises from the specialist means that Steve Bruce is hopeful of fielding his first choice strike pairing against the Blues. If Jones proves his fitness it will allow Fraizer Campbell to continue on the right flank where his partnership with Alan Hutton has brought a new dimension to Sunderland's attack. Campbell was regarded as a back-up striker when he joined from Manchester United in a £3.5m deal last July but the form of Jones and Darren Bent has forced the 22-year-old to adapt his game in a bid to secure a starting berth. He believes the conversion to right-midfield offers him a chance to hold down a regular starting place. I feel I'm a better player now than I was when I arrived, he asserted. I'm learning about a new position and that makes me more valuable to the team. I can do a job out there as well as up front. Playing in front of Alan Hutton has helped. I knew him from Tottenham and we work well together. Sometimes you don't see much of the ball out there, and that can be difficult to get used to, but the last few games we've played well and we've been attacking down both wings so I've been a lot more involved in things. He added: I still see myself as a striker, but I've been playing on the right, doing well, the team has been doing well and I've been enjoying it so I'm happy to stay there. Campbell cited this month's 4-0 victory over Bolton as the watershed moment in their season. The mood has lifted. It's amazing what a few points can do for you. It does sound weird in a sense, but I think we have remembered what a good side we are. At the start of the season we were playing some good football and looked like a decent team. Then came the bad patch, and it was really difficult to get out of it. That first win against Bolton, though, changed everything and we are starting to play like we know we can.