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I'd go all way to Timbuktu to sign the right men.

Byline: By Andy Rose Wales on Sunday

Dave jones is willing to go to the ends of the earth to find a winning formula at Cardiff City.

The new Bluebirds boss has only been at his Ninian Park desk for a little under two weeks.

But he has pledged to leave no stone unturned in his attempt to revive the debt-ridden club's on-the-field fortunes.

Exactly which stones he searches under will remain a closely-guarded secret as the former Premiership manager refuses to discuss his transfer targets until the ink is dry on their City contract.

Even the subject of Jeff Whitley - set to be unveiled as his first signing tomorrow - remains taboo for the time being.

But it will be a case of any time, any place, anywhere as Jones sets to work on building the squad he wants for next season.

'Some managers prefer this type or that type of player, but I'll go for whatever player makes us better,' said Jones.

'I'll go anywhere, even Timbuktu to make sure I find the right players for this club.

'My record as a manager shows that I look everywhere and at everything to try to improve my clubs.'

And as if to underline his commitment to the Cardiff cause Jones admits he would square up to anyone, even his wife, if it meant securing three points for the Bluebirds.

The 49 year old faces trips back to two of his old managerial stomping grounds - Southampton and Wolves - next season, but insists there will be no room for sentiment.

'I'm not the type of person to get excited about those type of games,' said Jones. 'I'll enjoy going back and even more so if I get the three points.

'I'm not emotional but I am passionate in everything I do. I was the same as a player. It doesn't matter to me where we play, whether it be my old club, a club I once played for, or where I was brought up.

'My wife could be in charge of the opposition. I don't give two hoots. I just want points.'

Jones accepts that persuading players to join his Cardiff revolution is currently a tad difficult with the club's well-documented financial problems.

But the imminent arrival of Whitley (right) is evidence of the straight-talking Scouser's persuasive tongue.

'Of course we're a hard sell at the moment,' admitted Jones. 'But so is anyone unless you can tell a player they are going up against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

'Players want to keep their options open as long as they can and I did the same myself as a player.

'But sometimes there comes a time when you have to put your hat on something, like I did when I came here.

'Everybody wants to know how the club is moving forward but if everything I was told when I joined comes to fruition then Cardiff City can become anything it wants.'

Cynics will call that suspension of disbelief.

And there is no doubting that recent revelations of boardroom battles, late player wages and a pounds 30m debt, are the kind of PR any club or manager can well do without.

But if the determination in Jones' eyes and his competitive aura are anything to go by, Cardiff could well have found the man they need to improve on last season's 16th placed finish in the Championship.

'I have bought into the future and when I sign players that's what I'm asking them to buy into as well,' said Jones. 'They have to buy into what I'm trying to achieve as a manager. There are a lot of clubs looking in the same pot for the same type of players.

'What you've got to do, though, is sell yourselves, sell your dreams, and sell your ambitions and hope that's enough to get the players that you want.'

Jones needed 18 months to separate the wheat from the chaff at Wolves before eventually steering them into the Premiership.

Time is more of a critical factor at Ninian Park, where Jones must slash pounds 2m off the wage bill by the start of the new season.

He will need to be ruthless as he wields the axe on the players he inherited from his predecessor Lennie Lawrence.

But he remains undaunted by the task that lays ahead.

'I got my head around what was going on here and what needed to be done the day I agreed to come to Cardiff,' he said.

'But unfortunately what needs to be done and what you can do are often two different things.

'I always seem to be put in positions where I need to dismantle before I can build.

'I love building things and if you look at the last few clubs I've been at I don't think I've done too badly at it.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 26, 2005
Words:811
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