By Tony Leighton
In-form Shrewsbury Town are confident of continuing their climb away from the npower League 1 relegation zone, says consistently performing defender Darren Jones ahead of Saturday's visit to the bottom-but-one club Scunthorpe United.
Two months ago, the Shrews, who were promoted from League 2 at the end of last season, were in the bottom four. But a run of nine games with only one defeat has lifted them seven points clear of the danger area.
And after ending rapidly-rising Coventry City's 10-match unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday, morale is sky high at the Greenhous Meadow ahead of back-to-back meetings with Scunthorpe and rock-bottom Hartlepool United.
Jones told football-league.co.uk: "We'll be looking for six points from these next two games to put more space between ourselves and the teams below us, and after the recent run we've had we're feeling very confident.
"But we are not looking any further ahead than the Scunthorpe match and we know that it will be tough. They may be in the relegation zone, but we lost 1-0 to them at our place early on in the season and so we certainly won't be underestimating them."
Jones has firmly established himself in the Shrews back four following his summer move from League 2 club Aldershot Town, the defender linking up again with manager Graham Turner, under whom he had previously played for at Hereford United.
"The manager was a big reason for me coming to Shrewsbury," said Jones, 29, "but not the only reason. This is a highly professional club with excellent facilities, very good staff and a great bunch of lads to play alongside.
"So joining the club was a no-brainer, and since I got here I've enjoyed every minute. Even when we were losing games in the early part of the season the spirit was good, we all stuck together and we've really come good over the last couple of months."
Shrewsbury have come good to such an extent that, in the impressive nine-match run they have put together, their three wins and four of their five draws have come against teams currently sitting above themselves in the League 1 table.
Jones added: "We maybe need to start turning draws into wins and that will be the aim, but if the draws we got in this run we're on at the moment had all ended in defeats then we would still be around the relegation zone.
"So I'll take those draws as good results and now we'll look to build on what we've achieved recently. We're still not safe and there are tough games ahead, but I'm confident that we can go on to establish ourselves as a good League 1 club."
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