Owain Tudur Jones today admitted he has yet to hit the heights after making a summer move from Inverness Caley to Hibs.
The towering midfielder has started just five of the Easter Road outfit’s 11 games so far this season and was on the bench as Pat Fenlon’s side lost to his old club at the weekend having missed Hibs’ previous three games with a groin injury.
But now the 28-year-old insists he’s ready to fight to regain his place now he is fully fit again while conceding he faces stiff competition if he is to force his way back into the starting line-up.
Tudur Jones revealed he was right to step out of the matches against St Johnstone, St Mirren and Stranraer having tweaked his groin ahead of the trip to McDiarmid Park rather than run the risk of being sidelined for six weeks.
The Welsh internationalist said: “It was in the last training session before St Johnstone. It was a niggly injury but I knew if I did any more it would probably have resulted in four, five or six weeks out so I took the precaution of stepping out for a little bit.
“However, it has healed up quite nicely and quite quickly, I’ve been back in training since the end of last week, was on the bench in Inverness and I’m ready to challenge for my place again.
“It’s been a bit stop-start since I arrived here and I certainly have not reached the personal form I would like to reach. You join a new club and you instantly want to do well, to have that instant huge impact if you like. Everyone is looking for the same thing but sometimes it takes a little bit more time.
“But it’s a long season and I am just looking forward to the weeks ahead.”
Tudur Jones, who began his career in Bangor before playing for Swansea, Norwich and Caley, interspersed with loan spells at Swindon, Yeovil and Brentford, insisted that making the move from Inverness to Edinburgh wasn’t the reason behind his struggle for form.
He said: “It’s not great moving house and traipsing across the country with your family but football is not the only profession where you have to move about looking for work. It’s not a huge issue and certainly not an excuse.
“It’s just the case that every single one of the new signings that came here in the summer wants to do well and I am no different to the rest of the boys. Our form has picked up recently until the weekend just gone and we are all striving to make sure Hibs are as high up the league as possible.”
Now, Tudur Jones insisted, he’s up for the fight to win a starting place although he admitted, given the number of central midfielders at Fenlon’s disposal, that will be no easy task. “You see in training the fight to get those two slots in the middle of the park.
“There’s plenty of competition everywhere in the side. You accept if you are out of the team and the team is doing well at that particular time but likewise, if you are in the team, you want to make sure you
stay there with high level performances.”