Our favourite up-and-coming Scouser is seen to be unassuming and rooted during interviews, and confident and appropriately aggressive on the pitch. But what more is there to the 19-year old’s experience having ascended through the academy? His recent interview with Liverpoolfc.com gives us a glimpse of the mental fortitude it takes to break into Jurgen Klopp’s team this early in one’s career.
On self-belief vs. cockiness
“I think I’m two totally different people on and off the pitch. I’ve never doubted myself, no. I’ve always believed in my ability and I always will.
“I’ll always believe in myself to know that anybody that I’m up against, if you get the better of me in one game, then there’s only one thing on my mind: the next game when I play against you, I’m going to beat you, it’ll literally be me for the whole game playing against you.
“There’s being confident and being cocky – I think there’s a fine line in between that. I don’t want to have people think that I’m going over that.
“Yeah, there’s been times when my confidence is not as high but the last thing I’ll ever do is doubt myself.
“Off the pitch, a lot of people know me for just being like a humble kid. I’m just humbled, relaxed, I’m chilled, I’ll speak to anybody. I’ll just try to be how I was brought up to be. I would never change.
“Obviously I’m still a little bit loud and can have a laugh, but I don’t walk around confident and [act] how I am on the pitch.
“I’m different off the pitch.”
On being a student of the game
“I like to study my own game a lot, I like to see what I can improve or position stuff and where I can get myself into better positions.
“I also like to watch a lot of players that play in similar patterns to me, confident players that like to do a bit on the ball – goals and assists.
“But I also like to listen to a lot of things that the likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe – those type of people who are big in the sports world – say about being confident, what they do and their schedules and stuff. Like trying to be the first one in the gym, the last one out of the gym, giving that little bit more that others don’t give.
“Even though I go out with friends and stuff, I’ll still like to study a lot.”
On the support he gets from his mother and older brother
“It was those two that I grew up with. When I was little it was them that kept me off the streets when the streets started to change a little bit more when I was growing up. It was them that kept me on the right path, it was them that kind of gave me the confidence of letting me know the player that I could become.
“They’re the ones that I know will never ever, ever allow me to become cocky or big-headed or come off the right path. They’re the ones that will just keep me grounded and not let me think I’m something that I’m not.”
While his game has shown plenty of promise, he still has some progress to make to gain the kind of finesse that players at the top level display. However, with Klopp’s trust, the opportunities and game time he’s now getting, and seemingly (from this interview) the right attitude, Jones’ future looks bright.