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Jones: I don't mind the bruises

14 Nov 2013 08:31:53

Jones: I don't mind the bruises

Phil Jones will continue to put his body on the line in a bid to make sure there are no more tears from schoolboys when they watch England at the World Cup next summer.

The Manchester United defender, 21, could be given a chance to impress in his preferred centre-back role as England manager Roy Hodgson runs the rule over his squad in the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany at Wembley.

Jones produced another dogged display when dropping back from a holding midfield role when Nemanja Vidic was injured against Arsenal on Sunday at Old Trafford, where David Moyes' side held out for a 1-0 win over the Barclays Premier League leaders.

The former Blackburn trainee was sporting a war wound from his tussle with France striker Olivier Giroud when he turned up for England training at the Gunners' Hertfordshire base on Wednesday.

It is a side of his game from which Jones draws great strength.

"I probably do get a few bumps and bruises, but that is just the way I play. I am not going to change that," said Jones, whose stray boot was responsible for a head wound to United and England team-mate Wayne Rooney earlier this season.

"It is just the way I play, I want to be strong and aggressive in attack and defence, it just so happens I pick up a few knocks now and again.

"I have always been like that, as a kid I used to get cuts and grazes on my knees from falling over in the playground, I did my ankles and all sorts in Sunday league football, but I enjoyed it and don't mind."

Jones admits his challenge on Rooney which left the striker with a three-inch gash and out of the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine was "a bit clumsy".

He said: "The first thing I did after training was to go and see how he was. To be fair he took it well - he did not try to knock me out or anything. I apologised and we have a joke about it now."

Jones, though, will not be taking his own World Cup dream lightly as he looks to make sure the young fans back home have plenty of reasons to party next summer.

"I always enjoyed watching the World Cup and I remember going into Primary School when we would get the drums out for the atmosphere because you have got to get into it, haven't you? I loved watching all the flags," Jones said.

"Then at Euro 2000, when we lost, I remember being in tears."

Jones insists the current generation do care about pulling on the Three Lions shirt.

"Playing for England is a huge honour. Anytime you are picked for your country it is a great feeling because there are so many world-class players who can be," he said.

"For me it is still everything, and I think if you ask all the players, it will be the same.

"It is documented that the young players might not care about England much now, but when you see the Under-21s, they all put their body on the line.

"The World Cup is a great incentive to have and hopefully I can get there."

Jones, signed by United for £16.5million in June 2011, has eight caps so far, but limited opportunities at centre-back. He hopes that will change with time.

"I have always said that as long as I am enjoying my football it is up to the manager, whether I am away with England or Manchester United, wherever they pick me," Jones added.

"I see it as an advantage if you can play in numerous positions because it can only help you.

"Since I broke into Blackburn's first team, centre-back has always been the target. Hopefully I can do that but am just really focused on playing and enjoying my football.

"I think he (Hodgson) sees me as a centre-half, but we have got some top players in the squad and it is never going to be easy to break your way through.

"The more I keep playing well for my club, then the more chances I will get on the international stage."


PA

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