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Jones reasserts centre-back claims

Manchester United utility man Phil Jones has re-iterated his desire to establish himself at centre-back for both club and country.

The 21-year-old has been a victim of his own versatility at Old Trafford, being used regularly both as a defensive midfielder and at right-back.

However, before joining United he was used primarily as a centre-back by former club Blackburn, and while Jones is happy to operate in any position for both his club and Roy Hodgson’s England, his long-term ambition remains to play in the centre of defence.

Ahead of England’s friendly against Chile at Wembley on Friday, Jones said of his flexibility: “There are advantages and disadvantages to it.

“I see it as an advantage and playing in numerous positions can only help me when hopefully I do go back to centre-back and establish myself there.

“That’s the target. I said when I broke into Blackburn’s first team that was the target and that was where people saw me playing.

“I keep saying it. As long as I am enjoying my football it is up to the England or the Manchester United manager where they pick me.”

For now, though, Jones is simply relishing playing time, particularly after battling with injuries in recent times.

“There are so many world-class players who can play for this country so if you’re in that squad each time, whether a friendly or a competitive game, there’s no better feeling,” he added.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating (with injury). I had a few niggles at the start of last season which didn’t help.

“I had a good run in the side with my club at the back end of last season and, hopefully, the more I keep playing with my club, the more international chances I’ll get.”

Following their friendly fixture against Chile, England play Germany at Wembley on Tuesday.

Thu 14 November, 2013
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