Football

United duo ready for England bows

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It has been whirlwind few months for Manchester United pair Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones, which could culminate in both making their senior England debuts in the next five days.

England take on Bulgaria in Sofia on Friday and Wales at Wembley on Tuesday along the path to Euro 2012 qualification, and Cleverly and Jones have an opportunity to show they can perform on the international stage.

However, things have not gone exactly to plan for Cleverley so far, with the young midfielder having scored an own goal during his first training session with his new colleagues.

"It was an own goal in a full-sided game," said the 22-year-old. "I was gutted the game got called off anyway but it meant I had to leave on the own goal really.

"At least I scored in my first session! I tried rolling back to Rob Green and it came off my shin and ended up flying in the net. It was a pretty embarrassing moment for me."

Jones, meanwhile, has been grateful for the influence of Wayne Rooney in easing him into Fabio Capello's squad.


 

"He's Wayne Rooney - a good character and a lively character," said the 19-year-old.

"He's been very helpful and understanding and has certainly made me feel welcome at international level and on club duty. He's a fantastic player and you can only learn from him. It's great to have him around.

"Everyone's world-class players here and it's about the collective team spirit. We've got to come together and produce the goods on Friday night. There's no fear, just excitement to get out there."

The defender added: "There's a good vibe. Everyone seems in good form for their clubs.

"It's my first experience of senior international football and I'm expecting quite a hostile environment as their fans and players will be up for it. So I'm expecting a tough test."

Topics:
Football
Phil Jones
Premier League
Manchester United
Tom Cleverley
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