Monday, July 23, 2018

Jones ready to stake United claim

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Nov 2016


Phil Jones is ready to put his injury nightmare behind him and focus on becoming a regular starter under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The central defender has endured a torrid 10 months that has seen him barely feature in competitive action for United due to knee and ankle injuries.

He made his long-awaited return against Swansea City before the international break and completed the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the Premier League – his first Old Trafford appearance since January 2.

Jones produced a composed display that was only spoiled by Olivier Giroud’s late leveller for the Gunners, but the 24-year-old was still able to find the positives after an “awful” time on the sidelines.

“It was great, personally, for me,” he told United’s official website. “It’s been a difficult period for me. It is good to be back in the fold and playing again.

“It [being injured] is awful but as a footballer you can’t feel sorry for yourself, go into a little hole and never come out of your home. You have got to go about your day as you would normally, work hard in training and I have worked to get back to where I am now. I want to stay here and I want to play more games.

“I have worked hard on my fitness, it has been tough mentally for me and it has been so frustrating. I can’t put into words how frustrating it has been, but that is behind me and I want to move forward to play as many games as I can.”

Jones revealed he was ready for a first-team return before the trip to the Liberty Stadium on November 6, but had to be patient to ensure he did not suffer a relapse.

He added: “I wanted to make sure that I was 100 per cent right going into the first game. 

“I was fit for a good few weeks before the Swansea game with training, and it was the training that I needed, but you can never replicate the game. Training and games are two different things. 

“The Premier League is so quick and sharp these days. It is games that I need and hopefully I can keep getting them.

“I am ready to play but I think I have also got to look after myself as well and think right. If I do feel something then I am honest, but I am ready, I am fit and ready to play.

“I am just focusing on game to game, playing football, doing what I love doing and I will go from there.”


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