GETHIN Jones reckons he has an important job to do after making a rapid return to first team football at Wanderers.

Appointed as vice-captain on Monday, the full-back then featured in two games in the same day on Tuesday as he returned from a three-month absence with a fractured leg.

Even though the call-up came as some surprise, Jones says he was delighted to get the chance to do some good after watching the team struggle over the winter months.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said, having played against Accrington for the reserves at Lostock on Tuesday morning. “The plan had been to get 60 minutes in the reserves but after about 20-25 minutes the gaffer and the coaching staff said I looked ready to be on the bench, how would I feel about it?

“It was a bit of a shock but that is what I have wanted to do for weeks, get back out there and help the lads back to where we should be.

“I was really honoured to be named vice captain by the gaffer. To get a role at this football club, I am so proud of it. I have loved this place and what it has done for me.

“But obviously now it is my responsibility to bring that in for the lads now, get on them every single day and make sure we get back to where we should be.”

Jones had last played at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of October, after which a hairline fracture was discovered in his fibula – an injury more common in marathon runners.

Wanderers had discussed getting him back in training before Christmas but after a wave of Covid spread around the camp, the comeback was once again placed on hold.

“It has obviously been very frustrating,” Jones said.

“After two or three weeks I couldn’t feel a thing but I had to listen to the specialists and the physios who said I couldn’t load it too much, too early, because I’d break down again.

“I’m really happy to be back out there and making a contribution now.”

Jones has also got a new rival for the right-back slot with the arrival of Fulham loanee Marlon Fossey. The American has made an encouraging start to life at the UniBol and the second half against Wycombe showed that he and Jones could now be used in the same side.

“I have got on well with Marlon over the last few days,” Jones said. “He is only a young lad and had a bit of experience on loan at Shrewsbury last season, so when he first came in I was here to support him. When he played against Hartlepool I tried to pass on a bit of information on how we play.

“He has bought into it so much and been brilliant. When I got told I was coming on, I didn’t know where I was going but I went right-back, he went right-wing and we linked up pretty well.

“He seems a good lad with a good attitude and hopefully there’s plenty more to come.”

Wanderers’ slump in form since October has seen them drop to 18th in the table, just three points outside the bottom four.

The attacking stats continue to paint a picture of a side creating meaningful chances but the fragility being shown in both penalty boxes is now an issue Jones feels needs urgent attention.

“There were words in the changing room after the game. We have said it for weeks but it really does need to change now,” he said.

“When we do play well, put the work we do on the training ground into games, we cruise. We have glimpses in some games but we are just not putting the ball away enough and obviously mistakes are happening.

“Box to box we have played some good stuff, it’s just the finishing product, and then in our own box we need to defend some goals a bit better.

“We need to keep battling and it will end up okay.”

Jones remains confident that Wanderers will soon pull away from trouble, and aims to set an example to the other players.

“We talked about it after the game and we know when we play well, we won’t be there, or we shouldn’t be there,” he said.

“We don’t know what has happened from the start of the season to now, what has changed so much. Obviously, we have had injuries, and then all the Covid hurt us, but we still have quality in the squad.

“The only way it changes is by working hard. Getting on the training ground and making sure everything we do, we do well.

“We get glimpses of it, but we have to be a lot more consistent.”