WREXHAM manager Dean Saunders is set for an audacious bid to sign Wales international Owain Tudur Jones on loan.
The Dragons boss moved quickly after learning that the Swansea City midfielder is frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities with the Championship outfit and wants a run of games in order to safeguard his place in John Toshack’s Wales squad.
Jones, who joined Swansea from Bangor City in 2005, spoke out after being omitted from the Swansea side that beat Reading 2-0 at the weekend, even though midfield regulars Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton were both sidelined.
Swans’ boss Roberto Martinez instead picked teenager Joe Allen, who had a brief loan spell at the Racecourse last October, and the 18-year old is widely tipped to be called up by Toshack for a Wales friendly against Poland in Portugal next month.
“I feel as if I have to go out on loan,” said Jones. “I need a run of games because I’ve got to look at the situation with Wales.
“I’m disappointed I did not play (against Reading) but I’m really happy that the boys won and the manner of their performance as it moved us closer to the play-off positions.
“Joe Allen is in front of me in the Wales reckoning and I’ve no problem with that because Joe is the one that is out there on the park, putting in good performances and showing a lot of confidence. I have to balance the success of the team with my own personal situation. So going out on loan is something I must consider.”
Former Bangor City player Jones, whose Swansea career has been hampered by a series of knee injuries, made his senior Wales debut against Luxembourg last March and is keen to add to his three caps.
If Martinez sanctions a loan deal for Jones the opportunity to work closely with Saunders, who is Toshack’s assistant, could outweigh any concerns the player might have about dropping down to the Blue Square Premier.
Yesterday the Dragons boss, who is also keen on Swansea’s Wales under-21 midfielder Shaun MacDonald, was naming no names, but he conceded he would be stepping up his squad-strengthening plans this week.
“We have got a few trialists in this week to have a look at them and we’ll be watching a lot of Premiership reserve-team games, so I hope I will be able to strengthen the squad by the end of the transfer window,” said Saunders.
Wrexham also hope to negotiate extensions with Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End respectively for midfield duo Nathan Woolfe and Nathan Fairhurst, whose loan deals ran out following last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Torquay United at Plainmoor.
Initially disappointed not have won the game, Saunders has revised his opinion and said the result owed more to the stormy weather than to the quality of the opposition.
“I’ve watched the game again and I felt we defended really well, both as a team and individually,” he said.
“The determination not to concede from set pieces in what were terrible conditions was superb and the way we defended the second balls proved to me that we can now go away from home and battle for a result.
“I already knew we can outplay teams because we do that most weeks and the conditions were certainly a leveller on Friday. If we had played Torquay on a sunny day it would have been a different result.”
With promotion rivals Cambridge United due at the Racecourse on Thursday evening for second successive match in front of the Setanta cameras, the Dragons boss added: “I don’t care who we play because I don’t think we have anything to fear.”