FOOTBALL NEWS

"Everyone says [being versatile] is sometimes a disadvantage but it's worked for me as I didn't think I'd make as many appearances as I have done when I started."

- Phil Jones

24/02/2012 17:10, Report by Adam Marshall
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Jones' game has improved

Phil Jones feels he has improved as a player since joining United in the summer but appreciates it's been neccessary due to the competition for places at Old Trafford.

The shrewd capture from Blackburn started at centre-back in the defeat to Ajax, but slotted into midfield in the second half, after playing at right-back in the first leg.

His versatility has enabled him to rack up 30 appearances in all for the Reds in his debut season and learning from the senior professionals and coaches at Carrington has developed his game. It was an indication of how respected he is at the club by the fact that he was initially scheduled to captain the team on Thursday, before Ji-sung Park came out with the armband.

"I think I've come on a lot since I came from Blackburn," he told MUTV. "I've learnt a lot and pick up pointers every single day from the manager and players. You just try to improve yourself and make yourself the best player you can. Everyone says [being versatile] is sometimes a disadvantage but it's worked for me as I didn't think I'd make as many appearances as I have done when I started."

The squad system comes into full effect as the Reds look to chase silverware at home and abroad in the final few months of the season and Jones believes the picture looks healthy despite the well-documented injury problems this term.

"We've been unfortunate with injuries this season," he accepted. "There's no excuses as injuries happen but I think we've been unfortunate. Slowly, but gradually, everyone is coming back fit and raring to go and that's vital towards the back end of the season when you're pushing for that title.

"In training, there is a great atmosphere and it's good that you've got more people in your position to compete with. It's healthy for the club.

"That's why we're one of the best clubs in the world - we produce so many high-class players and it's healthy for the squad."

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