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Manchester United's Phil Jones would relish centre-back role

24 Jul 2013 08:46:58

Manchester United's Phil Jones would relish centre-back role

Phil Jones is happy to be Manchester United manager David Moyes' flexible friend - but he knows the time will come when he needs to specialise.

Long touted as a high-class central defender, at times Jones has been doing anything but occupying his favourite position.

None of his seven England caps have come in that preferred role, and Sir Alex Ferguson liked to use the former Blackburn man as a defensive screen in front of his back four.

Privately, Moyes has voiced his belief Jones will eventually slot into central defence and that was where the 21-year-old figured in Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to Yokohama F Marinos.

Yet Jones knows he could be moved about again once the important games start next month.

"I have said from day one I see myself as a centre-back," he said. "But if I am asked to play in midfield or at right-back I am happy to do so. As long as I am in the team, it doesn't matter whether I am in goal. Of course, towards the middle and end of my career I will want to start cementing a place in a certain position but at the moment I am happy."

That Jones is staying fit is a welcome relief in what has turned into a difficult first pre-season for Moyes.

Whether it be difficulties in bringing in new players, the Wayne Rooney situation or a worrying groin injury collected by Robin van Persie during the first half of Tuesday night's game, problems are piling up for Moyes.

On the transfers front, a move for Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas has stalled, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini remain at Everton, Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle, and a seismic shift in the present situation would be required to secure the services of Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet, inside the changing room, all is going well. Insiders have confirmed Moyes' training regime has been impressive and while Jones could hardly be expected to say anything else under the circumstances, he reports a keen desire to succeed for the new boss.


PA

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