Manchester United defender Phil Jones has been named as the Red Devils’ player of the month for August, fending off competition from youngster Tyler Blackett and captain Wayne Rooney.
The 22-year-old England international earned 46 per cent of the votes cast on United’s official website to secure the individual accolade.
Difficult start for United
It’s been a difficult start to the season for United and their new manager Louis van Gaal, who has yet to register his first competitive victory since replacing David Moyes earlier this summer.
United have picked up a disappointing two points from their opening three Premier League matches and were dumped out of the Capital One Cup with a humiliating 4-0 defeat to League One side MK Dons last month.
Jones has impressed
But Jones has still managed to impress in the opening weeks of the new season - and is looking to help secure United’s first win of the season on Sunday, when newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers make the trip to Old Trafford.
“I think I have had a steady start to the season,” Jones told United’s website after picking up this award. “Obviously the results have not been what we wanted, far from it, so we need to improve and hopefully win on Sunday to get our first win on the board and really kick on from there.”
Sunday’s match could see Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo all make their Manchester United debuts.
Rojo is expected to replace 20-year-old Blackett on the left-hand side of the Red Devils’ central defence, but Jones reserved some words of praise for the young defender who has certainly made an impression over the past few weeks.
"He has got a big future if he keeps playing the way he is playing and progressing under the manager."
There’s a chance that Blackett could retain his starting position, however, if Jones fails to recover from a hamstring injury in time.
The 22-year-old defender, who is finally establishing himself as a central defender after years of being played in various other positions thanks to his versatility, could be out of action for the next three weeks after sustaining the injury while playing for England against Switzerland on Monday night.
Losing Jones ahead of a game which has a ‘must-win’ feel to it would be a massive blow for Van Gaal, who will be desperate to see his side secure all three points against Harry Redknapp’s men this weekend.