Billy Jones relishes fresh start at Rotherham after ‘tough couple of seasons’ with Sunderland

Billy Jones
Billy Jones

Former Sunderland right-back Billy Jones is relishing a fresh start at Championship newcomers Rotherham United.

Jones departed the Stadium of Light after 96 appearances in four seasons with the Black Cats, signing off with successive relegations from the Premier League to League One.

Now, though, the 31-year-old is raring to go again at Paul Warne’s Millers, who are back in the second tier after just one season in League One.

Asked about his decision to sign a two-year contract at Rotherham, Jones told themillers.co.uk: “It was what the manager said about having a great dressing room that really made my mind up.

“The way the manager said he works, everything about the way he manages, it was really appealing.

“To be part of something good is fantastic for me.

“It has been a tough last couple of seasons at Sunderland, so it is great to have a fresh start here.”

Free-agent Jones had interested other clubs, but Warne’s eagerness to land him proved decisive.

He added: “I spoke to the club a week or so ago now, and obviously being out of contract my agent has been working hard behind the scenes on a number of different options.

“I came along to meet the gaffer here and I was really excited about joining after what he told me about how he wants his teams to play, the team ethos, and the team spirit he already has with the lads.

“I am really looking forward to being part of that.

“I know when I have had success previously in the Championship and other leagues, it has been down to that. I am really looking forward to it.

“From the way the club has been sold to me, and the style of management, coupled with the coaches the managers he has, the whole mentality of the team is something that I really buy into.”

Jones, who played in yesterday’s 3-1 closed-doors friendly win over Grimsby, is a fourth new arrival at the New York Stadium, joining ex-Sunderland target Clark Robertson, formerly of Blackpool, in Warne’s defence.

Warne said of Jones: “He’s the perfect acquisition for us – so I am really pleased to have signed him.

“He’s got good pedigree.

“No one says anything bad about him and he’s played over 300 games in the Championship, so he’ll bring a great deal of experience to this great group we’ve already got.

“I’ve signed him predominantly as a right-back, but he can sit in midfield, play left-back and centre-half, so we’ve got options.”