DEFENDER Billy Jones has backed Newport County AFC to recover from their recent wobble and get right back in the hunt for promotion, writes Andrew Penman.

The 30-year-old, who joined the Exiles on a short-term deal in September, was released by manager Justin Edinburgh last week.

Jones is sad to be leaving Rodney Parade but accepts that the return from injury of Andy Sandell has limited his first-team opportunities.

“I’m disappointed to leave but it’s one of those things,” said the former Exeter City and Cheltenham Town man.

“When I first came in I knew it was just a month-to-month contract and the manager explained the situation.

“There were a lot of players out and I knew what it was. It’s just football and you get on with it.

“It was never concrete and, to be fair, the gaffer and Jimmy (Dack) and Wayne (Hatswell) have been brilliant with me.

“I was never in the position where I was in the dark and I loved my time at the club.”

Jones started seven matches for County, with his last appearance coming from the bench in the 2-0 victory over Hartlepool on November 15.

And there’s no doubt about his best moment – a stunning goal just three minutes into his debut against Morecambe on September 14.

“The goal was fantastic. I’d never scored on my debut before so that will stick with me.

“The lads were fantastic, they’re a great bunch of boys and I hope they do well.”

County have not won since Boxing Day after losses to Burton Albion and Northampton Town and Saturday’s last-gasp 3-3 draw at Accrington Stanley.

But, while Jones looks for another club to extend his career, he is in no doubt that his former teammates can get back on track for a second successive promotion.

“I think if you look at the league and the teams that are in it they have definitely got a really good chance,” he said.

“Back-to-back promotions happen quite regularly now and I don’t think they’ll be too far away from that.

“I’m on the lookout now,” he added. “I’ll keeping looking, keep myself fit and see if something comes up.”