Rotherham United: Billy Jones on the contrast between close-knit Millers and toxic Sunderland

Billy Jones
Billy Jones
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Life could not be much more different for Rotherham defender Billy Jones this season.

The 31-year-old is into his first few months at the Millers having joined from Sunderland on a free transfer in the summer.

The final couple of years at the Stadium of Light saw him embroiled in a toxic environment as the Black Cats suffered back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to League One.

In-fighting, no unity, finger-pointing and a losing culture. It is everything that life at Rotherham is not.

Although the full-back has not played as much as he would have liked so far due to injury, he is loving the atmosphere that boss Paul Warne has garnered.

“It was obviously horrible being part of that, personally,” Jones said of his final couple of seasons at Sunderland.

“When I spoke to the gaffer in the summer, he obviously spoke about the close-knit group he has here and the way the lads work hard for each other and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company in training in terms of working hard and off the pitch as well.

“It is a close-knit group and he spoke about how him and his staff do their utmost to improve you as an individual and as a team and it has been exactly that. 
“They are all great lads who are willing to work hard for each other and it is great to have that trust in your team-mates and know exactly where they are going to be on the pitch if you are covering. “That comes from the training pitch as well and we work really hard on the game plan.

“The gaffer talks about the group he has got here and the trust he has got in the players.

“It has been really great to be part of and hopefully we are going to have a special season here and that is what we are working hard to achieve.”

Meanwhile, striker Kyle Vassell was not included in Northern Ireland's matchday squad for their 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland on Thursday.

Vassell had been a substitute in both of the Green Army's October games but was not selected by Michael O'Neill in Dublin.

Semi Ajayi will be hoping for another Nigeria cap when they take on South Africa on Saturday.