Jones allays defensive concerns

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Phil Jones insists that he and Chris Smalling will be reliable replacements for injured defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, with the summer signing desperate to make his mark on the first team this season.

Jones was signed by United in June for a reported fee of £16 million, and the defender has already made a good impression in the club’s pre-season tour of the USA and in the Community Shield match against cross-town rivals Manchester City.


And now that Vidic, Ferdinand and Rafael Da Silva are out of the side with respective injuries, Jones believes that he and fellow youngster Smalling will be able to step up and show Sir Alex Ferguson that they deserve their places in the starting line up.

"We've done really well together with England and kept quite a few clean sheets - that will only help," Jones told the official Manchester United website.

"We communicate well and read each other's game, which is a good thing to have in a partnership at the back."

Jones said he has taken a lot of inspiration from Vidic and Ferdinand throughout his career, and has adapted his style of play accordingly. This is no doubt part of the reason Ferguson noticed the 19-year-old at Blackburn.

"They are brilliant defenders. I've always watched those two play together and tried to model my game on them and copy things they do,” the Englishman said.

"It's a fantastic stadium with a great atmosphere and I was playing against some fantastic players [while at Blackburn]. It's even better now I'm playing with them."

Jones and Smalling are both likely starters for United’s first home game of the season, against Tottenham, on Monday night.

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Chris Smalling
Phil Jones
Premier League
Manchester United

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