Dan Jones opens up on the fascinating battle with Carl Dickinson to become Notts County’s first-choice left-back


When Dan Jones arrived at Notts County in the summer, the one thing Kevin Nolan promised of his new full-back was athleticism and speed.

Nobody can deny that the former Port Vale defender has offered both qualities in what has been an impressive opening to his career at Meadow Lane so far.

Jones was in terrific form until a hamstring injury suffered in the 4-1 win over Lincoln City confined him to the sidelines and the last few weeks have been spent working on his rehabilitiation.

But the former Chesterfield defender is now back to contest the left-back spot in what is shaping up to be an extraordinary battle to be a part of Nolan’s first team.

In Jones’ absence, Carl Dickinson has done a wonderful job in which he has arguably produced the best string of performances since joining the club last summer.

It has given Nolan an incredibly tough decision to make regarding who gets the nod to play left-back when they face Newport at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

But such is the camaraderie between the pair, both team-mates at Port Vale, Jones says the relationship they share has meant they continually push each other to great heights no matter who gets the nod.

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Carl Dickinson has been excellent over recent weeks.

“I was at Port Vale with Dicko and we get on really well,” he said.

“It’s good competition as we push each other on and at the end of the day the manager picks what is best for the team.

“We support each other and I feel Dicko has done really well. He scored a really good goal against Mansfield and has been close with a few others too.

“He is a fantastic pro and I learn a lot from him in terms of his attitude and things.

“Although we play the same position, we are two very different players.

“He has a lot of qualities and played at a good level. I learn off him and every day in training he is bang at it.

“That’s good to see and good to be with.”

Whoever does get the nod from Nolan at left-back against Newport will be tasked with helping a Notts team begin to find some momentum as they look to keep the pace at the top of League Two.

Since the 3-1 defeat to Mansfield at the end of last month, results have been up and down which has been in keeping with the rest of the league.

Nobody is running away with the division at present and you sense that if Notts can find consistency in both performances and results it is there for the taking.

But it’s a tough league in which no quarter is given when the teams at the bottom are more than capable of taking points off the top as Notts have found out.

Jones says, however, there are always going to be peaks and troughs over the course of a season.

“We were on such a high during that unbeaten run that when it ends you do get a bit of a comedown,” he said.

“It’s like going on a lads holiday and it ends – you don’t want to come home!

“But then again you are just one win away from everything being back to normal again.

“We are second in the league and a point off top. You win on Saturday and the last few weeks are forgotten about.

“It’s all about consistency and being able to balance out it through the course of the season.”



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