MARK SERTORI may work alongside arguably the greatest coach of the modern footballing era in Pep Guardiola but he still describes Joey Jones as ‘one of the best’ he’s ever seen.

As Sertori - a masseur at Manchester City - prepares for tomorrow’s Premier League return, the former Wrexham player took time out to highlight the part Jones played in a playing career that included a four-year stay at The Racecourse.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Joey Jones,” said Sertori, who has been in the Blues backroom staff for 12 years. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve seen and could have gone a lot higher in the game. He could have coached at the very highest level.

“But Joey loved it at Wrexham and he showed great loyalty to them. For what he achieved in his playing career, he never shouted about but he just had a great way with him.”

Sertori arrived at Wrexham in 1990 as a striker, Brian Flynn forking out £30,000 to bring him to The Racecourse from Lincoln City.

Flynn, assistant Kevin Reeves and Jones then saw something else in Sertori as he went from front to back to become a more-than-decent centre-half.

“You always listened to Joey’s words of advice and took them on board. He would put his points across so well. And when Joey Jones told you do something, it was non-negotiable!”

While Sertori, who played his part in Wrexham’s famous FA Cup giant-killing of Arsenal in 1992, lauded Jones’ methods on the training ground, the ex-Liverpool and Wrexham legend was full of praise for the man who paid out £110,000 to take him to Anfield 45 years ago.

Jones described the late, great Liverpool boss Bob Paisley as ‘a brilliant manager’ who was ahead of his time when it came to tactics and handling players.

“We never really had a team talk with Bob Paisley, it was never a club where we talked tactics. We just played five-a-side all the time in training,” recalled Jones on his 100-game spell at Anfield.

“I remember the European Cup Final in Rome. We got there and he said don’t bother going sight-seeing, there’s nothing to see. I was here in the war in a tank and we bombed everywhere!”

Paisley’s honours list is something else - six League Championships, three League Cups, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup, one Super Cup and six Charity Shields.

“It’s an unbelievable record,” added Jones. “The good thing about him is that he would never over-complicate things. He knew we had good players and it was always about what we did and not the opposition.

“Yes he had the opposition watched but with Ronnie Moran, Joe Fagan and Roy Evans around him, they were clever, ahead of their time time really.

“We wouldn’t practice set-pieces. If we had a corner in a game, he’d shout to one of the defenders to go up and them he’d tell another one to up the next time. It kept us guessing and the opposition too!

“They would guide you more than tell you what to do and once you crossed the white line, it was up to you to make the right decision and when you had great players and we did in those days, you didn’t really need to tell them what to do. They just did it.”

Paisley offered him £100 a week when he signed for Liverpool but Jones reckons he’d have played for less and that enthusiasm and passion to play for the club he’d supported all his life wasn’t lost on the Liverpool boss.

And Paisley saw that in Jones during his first season, including when he was on the bench for the UEFA Cup semi-final tie at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.

“I was one of the subs that night and their fans were throwing objects onto the pitch all night and I’d had enough of it,” recalled Jones.

“They’re weren’t any dugouts in those days, just chairs on the side of the pitch and we were sitting targets. It got worse after we’d won 1-0 and they started throwing cushions and seats onto the pitch...and I’d had enough.

“I started throwing the cushions and the seats back into the crowd before Bob Paisley grabbed me and told me to get in the dressing room before I start a riot. I told him that if they were throwing seats at me, I was going to throw them back. He then said: “They’re throwing the seats because we beat them now get in that dressing room!’

Twelve months later he was in from the start as Liverpool lifted the European Cup with a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome - days Jones, now 65, will never forget.

And neither will the Liverpool supporters, who unfurled the famous banner that read: ‘Joey Ate The Frogs Legs, Made The Swiss Roll, Now He’s Munching Gladbach.’

“When you’re young you dream of playing football for your favourite club,” said Jones. “Mine was Liverpool so to end up playing for them, have your name chanted by the fans, listening to You’ll Never Walk was a dream come true.

“Wrexham will always be my spiritual home but Anfield was something else.

“I used to watch them from the Boy’s Pen and then the Kop and here I was playing for them alongside great likes Kevin Keegan and Emlyn Hughes.”