Jones relishing Rovers fight
Phil Jones is relishing the fight for places as Blackburn begin their pre-season preparations. The 18-year-old defender caught the eye after making the first-team breakthrough towards the end of last season. He is part of Rovers' travelling party bound for Austria on Friday for a week of training then a friendly against Sturm Graz on July 10. And Jones is then expecting a battle with New Zealand World Cup star Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba to gain a regular starting role next term. "It isn't going to be easy, no-one said it was going to be easy," he told the club's official website. Top quality "They are both top quality players - in training not just in games - so I've got to fight for my position. "I'll look forward to that and it's something I will relish. "Grant Hadley is another really good defender so the competition is good all over in every position this year so I'm really looking forward to it." Last summer Jones was promoted from the Academy to the reserves squad and he is eager to keep his feet on the ground after earning 10 first-team starts last season. "I'm proud of what I've done but time doesn't stand still, you move on," he added. "That is in the past now and that's football for you. Exciting "You've got to take everything that comes along and hope for the best. "It is different than last year, it's a better position to be in. I'm enjoying my time and I hope to get a good pre-season under my belt, get fit and get playing again. "Once you've tasted first-team football you want more of it and hopefully I can do that. "It is really exciting but I've got to keep my head down and keep doing the right things."
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