Rangers player Jordan Jones says he’s “over the moon” after scoring his first-ever senior international goal for Northern Ireland on Sunday [BBC Sport].
Jones had a difficult first half of the 2020/21 season at Ibrox, making just four appearances prior to picking up a substantial SFA ban for breaching Covid regulations.
He played more regularly after signing on loan for Sunderland in January and scored several impressive goals but couldn’t nail down a spot in the starting XI and didn’t manage to fire them to promotion.
There hasn’t been much to shout about for the winger in a Northern Ireland shirt for the last couple of years, either.
Injuries and his Covid breach have seen him miss many important fixtures, while when he has been available, he’s often been named on the bench.
A friendly against Malta on Sunday provided an opportunity for a rare start, though, and he got the visitors off to a dream start by opening the scoring in just the second minute.
Following a misplaced pass from a home defender, Jones got the ball out of his feet on the edge of the area with an excellent first touch, before firing a firm finish past the wrong-footed keeper.
NI would go on to win the game 3-0 and the Ger was delighted with his contribution.
“I’m over the moon,” he said [BBC Sport]. “To get three goals as a team was a real positive and on a personal level, I’m delighted to get my first goal for my country. Hopefully, it’s the first of many.”
“I’ve really missed coming away with the boys and I’ve missed playing for Northern Ireland, but thankfully the gaffer has put me back in the squad and hopefully I’ve repaid him.”
Another away friendly is scheduled for Thursday in Ukraine and Jones will be hoping for another positive display to round off his season.
The 26-year-old’s future at club level remains uncertain, though.
He’s contracted until 2023 but is set for talks with Steven Gerrard this summer to discuss the club’s plans for him [Daily Record], while a host of Championship clubs have been linked with interest in a summer transfer [TEAMtalk].