EXCLUSIVE: Rob Jones disappointed at Rovers exit

Rob Jones is mobbed by Rovers supporters after clinching the League One title at Brentford in 2013.
Rob Jones is mobbed by Rovers supporters after clinching the League One title at Brentford in 2013.
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Rob Jones admits he is bitterly disappointed to depart Doncaster Rovers in the manner he did on transfer deadline day.

Jones’ three-and-a-half year stay at the club was brought to an end yesterday when he and the club mutually agreed to end his contract as both player and U21 coach.

“I’m just really disappointed with the way that it’s finished to be brutally honest,” Jones told The Star.

“I can look back with very fond memories of three-and-a-half years of all sorts of ups and downs.

“The way it’s ended though, I would have liked to have said goodbye in a more pleasant way.”

The 36-year-old inserted himself into Rovers folklore after arriving in the summer of 2012, proving to be a talismanic leader as a club captain who could be relied upon for goals from centre half.

He was the figurehead for the League One title-winning side, especially after taking charge alongside Brian Flynn for the final few months of the season.

Injuries would blight the later stages of his Rovers career and restricted him to just four appearances this season.

Jones was made interim manager after Paul Dickov was sacked in September but missed out on the job to Darren Ferguson.

It quickly became clear that he was not part of Ferguson’s first team plans but Jones insists he holds no hard feelings towards the current Rovers boss.

He said: “When the new manager came in, very quickly he told me that I’d been made available for loan.

“I wasn’t something I really wanted to do. I was injured at first and then I suffered a head injury.

“Then it was just about getting fit and I started training last week.

“I was down to play in the U21 game at Grimsby but I’d only had one day of training so we thought it was best not to risk it. I was planning to play later this week.

“The manager had a meeting with the board last Thursday and then came to me proposing we cancel the contract and that’s how it ended.

“I can’t really say that the manager hasn’t given me an opportunity because there hasn’t really been the opportunity for him to do that.

“I’ve been injured and this has really been the only time when I’ve been properly fit.

“These things happen. It’s just disappointing.”

Jones fully intends to continue his playing career despite his age and lack of recent game time.

He admits no offers have yet been made to him but he will bide his time as he looks to play on.

He said: “I’ve got no intentions of finishing my career now.

“I’ve said all along that no one else will tell me when I’m going to stop playing, that decision will be mine.

“I’m fit again now, I just need games to get the sharpness back.

“I’m open to anything so we’ll see what offers come in, take our time and make the right choice.”