Jones makes his point after getting recall from Stags
CAST into the Mansfield Town wilderness, Luke Jones had been told he was free to join another club.
As boss Paul Cox trimmed down his first-team squad, the central defender was one of the victims of the cull.
Despite coming on to play against Workington in a 2-1 FA Cup fourth round qualifying victory last month, he had not featured in a league game since September 8, when Mansfield lost 3-1 at Ebbsfleet.
But suspensions to John Dempster and Exodus Geohaghon suddenly left an opening and the 25-year-old, who signed from Kidderminster in the summer, was the man to get the nod at Macclesfield on Tuesday.
And he responded with a solid performance, helping the Stags keep a clean sheet and then he scored the final goal in a 3-0 victory to give his manager plenty of food for thought.
Geohaghon is back on Saturday to face Matlock Town in the FA Trophy but Cox admits the professionalism and performance from a man who has not been training with the first-team squad had put Jones back into the reckoning.
Jones, in his second spell with Mansfield, did not hide his disappointment at what had taken place in the last few weeks.
And he said he would love to still have a future at the One Call Stadium, although he is also keeping a realistic take on his position.
Jones said: "It has been a very frustrating time so it was nice to get out on the pitch and cap it with a goal. In all honesty it has been difficult.
"I came to the club expecting to be a big part of what the manager was trying to do here.
"I started off playing, captaining the side and then after the FA Cup I have not been in the squad.
"The gaffer talked to me about cutting his squad and I was in a position where I am available for other teams.
"But when I go out, I want to do well so it was never an issue to come in and play. And if that performance gives the manager something to think about, then that is another plus.
"You never know when a chance will come and then you have to take it. It is not down to me what happens next, but I want to stay here and I am happy it went well."