Manchester United defender Phil Jones has credited a new dedication to post-match reovery with his return to form and fitness.
Jones suffered a long-term ankle injury in January before then sustaining a knee problem in September which delayed his comeback.
The England international has impressed on his return, however, forming a strong central-defensive partnership with Marcos Rojo as Jose Mourinho’s men have overcome a mixed start to the Premier League season to climb to sixth in the table.
Jones’ career has been plagued by a series of injuries at United, and previous club Blackburn Rovers, but is hoping a more mature approach to how he recovers after matches will help end those problems.
Speaking in the United Review ahead of Monday’s Boxing Day fixture against Sunderland, he said: “I think as I’ve got older I’ve become wiser to recovery and realised how important it [post-match recovery] is.
“When I was younger you think you know it all and after games you probably just go for some food or sit on your PlayStation. Now I take it a lot more seriously and recover properly because I know I need to give myself the best possible chance to be as fresh and as fit as I can for the next game.”
Jones was also quick to praise the impact of Mourinho.
“It’s brilliant. He’s shown a lot of confidence and belief in me and hopefully I’m repaying that. I’m not a player who needs telling every day in training ‘you’re brilliant, you’re this, you’re that’… but it’s always nice to hear comments from the manager and people around that you’re doing well.
“I’m not under any illusions though, in this game you can be up there one minute and down the next, so I need to keep going game by game and keep improving.”
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