Rangers winger Jordan Jones hopes he has done enough to earn a second chance at Ibrox with his display at Motherwell.
The Northern Ireland international was called in from the cold at Fir Park to make his first Premiership start since August last year and took the opportunity to impress boss Steven Gerrard with a sumptuous finish in their 5-1 rout.
The opportunity to show the Ibrox boss what he could do has been a long time coming for the former Kilmarnock forward. Signed on the back of his exhilarating displays at Rugby Park under Steve Clarke, his Gers switch was in danger of falling flat after his first campaign was wrecked by an injury sustained while foolishly getting sent off in last term’s opening Old Firm clash.
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It looked as if he could be heading for the door, with moves to several English Championship clubs – including Stoke, Barnsley, QPR, Middlesbrough and Blackburn – touted ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
But Jones is determined to stay and fight for a place in Gerrard’s side.
“Everyone knows how much I want to be here, hopefully I have showed that as well today,” he said after Sunday’s crushing win. “We have just got to see what happens.
“You train every day and hope that something is going to change but you can’t sit and complain when the team is performing as it is, Ryan Kent especially, and picking up points as it is.
“You literally have to keep as ready as you can be and hope that something is going to change so that when you do get your chance you can take it.
“Did I get to a point where I thought things wouldn’t change? Probably, yeah, if I am being honest. Some weeks it is hard to see if you are ever going to get a chance again and if you can keep going.
“You have got to be mentally strong and I feel that I am a lot better at things like that now, being mentally strong and not going in moods and sulking around the place. You are at a massive club and you have got to be grateful for the opportunity when you do get it. And when you do, you have got to make the most of it.
“Like a lot of our players, there are a lot of links with clubs, there is a lot of stuff written about us and you have to try and let it go over your head.
“I know sometimes it is difficult when you are not involved and it is hard to ignore all the noise. I don’t think you can get too carried away. You see the likes of Alfredo (Morelos), he gets linked with a different club every day.
“But you just have to get on with your job. Rangers is the club we play for, Rangers is 100 per cent the club that I want to play for. I got my chance today and on Thursday night against Willem II and I feel like I have done myself justice.”