I will be a centre-back for England, says Manchester United's Jones

The young defender has struggled to win a regular starting place at the back for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side but believes that he can be a regular for the Three Lions in future

Manchester United defender Phil Jones is determined to become a regular centre-back for England despite the competition that he faces at Old Trafford, declaring that there is “no better honour” than representing the Three Lions.

The 21-year-old has struggled to impose himself at the heart of Sir Alex Ferguson’s defence with various injury problems and the form of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand limiting his appearances in the middle.


However, the former Blackburn youngster is confident that he can force his way back into Roy Hodgson’s national squad and is glad that he is able to learn from such experienced professionals as fellow Red Devil Rio Ferdinand.

“I would love to think I could be England’s centre-half – that’s my target,” he told reporters. “It’s hard to break into the team as a centre-half at United, with Ferdinand and Vidic playing so well. They’re well ahead of me in terms of experience but I have said all along that I enjoy playing at centre-back.

“I’d like to think I can squeeze myself back into the England squad. I have to keep performing well for United and see where that takes me but I love putting the shirt on and playing for my country. There’s no better honour.

“It’s not up to me what happens with England. What will be, will be. I will just try to do a job wherever I am asked to play because I really enjoy being at United and playing for England.”

The £16 million signing was deployed in a defensive midfield position to man-mark Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League round-of-16 clash on February 13 and credits Ferdinand with helping him through the game.

“Rio is a fantastic player,” he continued. “He is great to play alongside. He talks to you all the time. He really helped me through the game in Madrid.”

Jones is rated as doubtful for the return leg on Tuesday with an ankle injury but is likely to feature once again if passed fit.

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