Jones eyeing Manchester United centre-back berth

Manchester United defender Phil Jones believes he may struggle to earn a start in his favoured centre-half position having impressed during recent midfield outings.

The 20-year-old, who joined the club from Blackburn in 2011, started in the middle as the Red Devils earned a point against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in their last league outing.

And, after Sir Alex Ferguson described Jones’ performance in that game as “absolutely brilliant”, the England international has conceded that he might not return to the defence for some time.

“Yes, I kind of shot myself in the foot a bit!” he told the Mirror.

“I’ve said all along that centre-half is where I feel most comfortable. I understand and read the game better there. But wherever I am asked to play I will play there.

“I’m at Manchester United and I love playing for this club, so I’m happy to play anywhere.

“I didn’t have a great start to the season, but hopefully I can push my way into the side and get some games under my belt.”

 The Preston-born stopper also talked up the potential of his partnership with fellow Red Devils youngster Chris Smalling.

“Prior to the two games Chris and I have played together recently, we have played quite a lot together for England Under-21s,” he added.

“We know and understand each others’ game. It’s not a problem playing together at the back.”

Jones went on to express eagerness to make up for last season’s disappointing, last-gasp loss of the Premier League title to Manchester City.

“That’s what the gaffer said to us before the game and that’s exactly what we are going out to achieve,” he continued. “We have a good team here and a solid foundation.

“All credit to Robin Van Persie. He has come in and has been unbelievable for us this season and has got lots of goals.

“But we’ve got players, who are just as good and Chicha and Wazza have proved that against Fulham. This year we are more concentrated on us and what we are about. It has definitely helped us on the pitch.

“You can see that on the pitch with all the lads and in training. It’s a laugh, but we are focused and are really gelling.

“Last season was last season and it’s been and gone. We had to focus on what is in front of us now. We have lots of games coming up.

“There are a lot of tricky games and it is a tough period but we know if we have everyone fit then with the big squad we have we will be fine.”

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