DONCASTER Rovers skipper Rob Jones has been nicknamed ‘Corporal’ Jones by some fans.
But it would be hard to imagine anyone more different to the legendary Dad’s Army character than the 6’7” centre-back.
Whereas you suspect that the late Clive Dunn’s character would have run a mile had there ever been any real action for Captain Mainwairing’s platoon - not so Jones.
Corporal Jones was famous catchphrase was:’Don’t panic! when he was panicking more than anyone else around him.
Not something you could ever accuse the Rovers’ skipper, who is more like Indiana Jones than Corporal Jones, of doing in the heat of battle.
The 33-year-old defender is certainly the sort of character who seems be in his element when things get tough in the box - qualities that have seen him short-listed for the November League One Player of the Month award.
The result is due to be announced this morning and it would give everyone at the club a massive boost ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Coventry City were he to win the award.
It’s is hardly surprising that Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders named Jones, who has previously led Hibs and Sheffield Wednesday, as club captain.
Not only is he a good talker in the dressing room and on the training ground, but he also leads by example during games according to his team-mates.
“It’s nice that people are saying that but I don’t think I’ve changed throughout my career,” he told The Star. “I’ve always been a leader. I’ve certainly always been more of a leader than a follower.”
Knocked out in the home game against Crewe following a clash of heads, Jones has also been in the wars in several other games but says he’s not about to start ducking the challenges,
“I don’t think I’ll ever change; I’ve always done the same thing irrespective of any knocks,” he said.
Manager Dean Saunders recently described Jones as being his right-hand man on the pitch. “We all want the same thing - to be successful,” he said. “I understand what the gaffer wants, what he wants from me and what he wants from the other players.
“Sometimes during a game you can’t always hear what the manager is saying (from the touchline) and it’s got to come from somewhere and I like being vocal.
“It’s important that we have a good festive period and pick up as many points as we possibly can going into the new year after which it becomes a bit tougher. But as long as you are in the mix come the last couple of months of the season then you’ve got every chance.
“A few of us have been involved with teams which have either been promoted or reached the play-offs and hopefully that experience will help, but only time will tell.
“We are in a great position at the moment and we want to kick on now and move forward and get to a point where we want to be. We’ll see where we are at the end of the festive period and then go again.
“Sometimes you can allow yourself to get carried away with what’s going on in and around you and you lose concentration in what’s at hand.
“It’s an old cliche, but you really do have to take each game as it comes.
“We don’t know why we’ve been the way we have at home and I can assure everyone that we are busting a gut to try and eradicate that. We had a great result against Scunthorpe in our last game.
“We are second in the division and we’ve won an awful lot of games and let’s just hope that we win an awful lot of games in the second half of the season.”
Looking ahead to Coventry’s visit, Jones said: “They’ve got a new manager and he’s starting to turn things around, but irrespective of the circumstances, any game in this division is difficult.
“So, as I said before, you take every game as it comes, respect the opposition as much as you can and by doing that through the season hopefully we’ll accumulate enough points to take us to where we want to go.”
“We’ve had a good start but there is an awful long way to go. We’ve had a few slip-ups along the way but I think that has galvanised us a little bit when we’ve had down periods such as the back-to-back home defeats against Crewe and Bournemouth.
“I think that we are moving along quietly which is probably the best way to do it.
“Football is a pressure game whether you are top of the league, bottom of the league or sat in mid-table, because you are under pressure to perform.
“So there is no more added pressure being joint top.”