Alex Jones has spoken of his delight after making a long-awaited return to Bradford City action.
The 24-year-old striker ended an 11-month lay-off on Tuesday evening, appearing as a substitute in the Bantams’ Checkatrade Trophy game against Oldham.
Jones came through unscathed and is now gearing up for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One trip to Accrington.
“I feel fitter and stronger than ever before, so it was great to get some minutes on Tuesday night,” said the former Birmingham forward.
“After such a long time out it was a bit of a mental hurdle for me to overcome, getting out on the field in an actual game.
“I managed just over 15 minutes and on Saturday, fingers crossed, hopefully I will get the opportunity to play longer and keep improving my match fitness.
“I really want to play against Accrington, so I need to get through some hard work in training over the next few days and do all I can to be included in the squad.”
Jones is anticipating a spike in competition for places over the coming weeks, with a host of Bantams preparing to return from injury.
Hope Akpan (shoulder), Ben Wilson (knee), Adam Chicksen (leg) and Jake Reeves (groin) are back in light training.
“Injuries are part and parcel of the game but, with so many of the lads coming back, competition will be high,” added Jones.
“It will only improve us as a team and make us better in terms of players battling it out for spots in the starting 11.
“There are a lot of strikers in the squad, so I know I will have to be at my best to get a place in the team, but that is what I am aiming to achieve now.
“The start to the season hasn’t been great and everyone will put their hands up and admit that.
“But there are more than 30 games still to play and we will turn it around.
“David (Hopkin) has been massive for us. His ideas are taking effect and he gets his point across very clearly in training.
“He has made some changes in and around the training ground and the lads are responding really well.”
Tickets for Saturday’s trip to Accrington Stanley are still available and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.