'Great way to play' - Gethin Jones on the demands of being a Bolton defender

Jones relishes the opportunity to get forward and join the attack
Jones relishes the opportunity to get forward and join the attack

It isn’t easy being a defender in Wanderers’ system, but vice-captain Gethin Jones is relishing the responsibility.

The Welshman has picked up where he left off last season and continues to be a reliable presence at the back.

But Ian Evatt’s style of play also requires defenders to be effective in possession at times, and Jones often gets the opportunity to join the attack.

It is something the former Everton youngster thrives on, having played plenty of games as a full-back throughout his career.

“The gaffer always says to us it can be hard being a defender in this team because we work really hard to keep clean sheets, that’s what you do first and foremost as a defender,” Jones told The Bolton News.

“But the way we play, we start attacks, he wants us to get on the ball and sometimes that means you’ll give it away. Sometimes it is about the way you react to that.

“The way that we play the transitions are massive, so if you do lose the ball then you have to chase it and work hard to get it back.

“Changing to a right-sided centre back, I can bomb on with Conor [Bradley] and get involved. It is a great way to play.

“Rico [Santos] says we get the chance to mix it up and express ourselves, sometimes we change the shape to a 3-5-2 or a four depending on how the opposition are looking to play.

“It often comes from Traff and the way he sees things from behind us. We will set up the way he sees the opposition moving, so I am really enjoying it at the moment.”

Liverpool loanee Bradley has hit the ground running in League One, making a big impact at both ends of the pitch.

Jones is enjoying playing alongside the Northern Ireland international and hopes their partnership can continue to grow over the coming season.

He added: “Conor is brilliant to play with, honestly. For someone of such a young age he is just thriving in this league and has been unbelievable. He’s such a humble kid as well, I am really enjoying it.”