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Jones defends goal-scoring record

Kenwyne Jones has insisted he is happy with his contribution at Stoke City - although his goal which rescued a point against Everton on Saturday was his first Premier League strike for 16 months.

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Not since the 1-1 draw at Norwich in August, 2011, had the 28-year-old Trinidadian appeared on the score sheet in the top flight.

But, in defending his record, he points to his healthy return in cup games and his limited chances in the first team at a time when he is keeping Peter Crouch out of Tony Pulis' in-form starting line-up. "I don't know if anybody noticed but I didn't really play in the league," Jones said. "I was just getting a few cameos, ten minutes or whatever.

"I was playing in the Europa League and I was scoring in that. When I don't score, I believe I contribute massively to the cause, so I haven't been low on confidence.

"It is frustrating that I don't get to score but the way we play I don't think we create bags and bags of chances. So it is tough and it is frustrating when you get that half-chance and don't score in a game. I just keep working hard and trying to score the odd chance or two."

Jones scored twice against FC Thun and then against both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Dynamo Kiev in Stoke's fine Europa League campaign in 2011-12 and backed up that contribution by netting against Norwich in the League and Liverpool in the League Cup.

He then struck against Swindon in this season's Capital One Cup before glancing a header past Tim Howard three days ago.

He has started the three league games since Crouch had teeth knocked out against Newcastle at the end of November - a match in which Jones set up the late winner for fellow substitute Cameron Jerome.

"I am happy with the impact I have made since coming back into the team," he added. "It does my confidence good when I'm in the team and when I'm playing.

"In a football club, your job is to be at the top of your game and to fight for your place."

While Stoke's former record signing waits to learn whether he continues to keep Crouch on the sidelines, Stoke have suffered a tragic blow as they plan for Saturday's game at Tottenham.

On Tuesday the club used their website to confirm the sudden death of the 50-year-old father of Charlie Adam - a former professional footballer of the same name - but stressed they would be making no further comment.


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