FOOTBALL NEWS

16/02/2012 20:39, Report by A Marshall, A Bostock

Happy return for Jones

Phil Jones was pleased with the contribution made by recently absent Manchester United players in the 2-0 away win over Ajax in the Europa League.

The defender made his comeback at the Amsterdam ArenA and performed well at right-back while Tom Cleverley made his long-awaited return in central midfield. Ashley Young and Nani also started again after spells out of the team.

Jones told MUTV: "I’ve been out for three weeks so I’m not going to get full match fitness straight away but it’s good to get 90 minutes under my belt and hopefully, if I’m selected, I can do well in the next game.

"I’m delighted for Tom Cleverley. He’s a terrific talent. We missed him on the pitch while he was out. But I saw him every day in the gym so I know his attitude’s fantastic. He deserved to be out there tonight. Ashley's also terrific. He's come back from injury and done really well and I was pleased for him to get our first goal tonight."

Jones expected Ajax would prove difficult first opponents in the Europa League but is hopeful that United can go a long way in the competition.

"It was always going to be a tough test coming here but I think we prepared well. We were probably not at our best in the first half but we still stuck at it and probably deserved the victory. The gaffer said at half-time we needed to move the ball quicker. We did that in the second half, we created more chances and scored two great goals. This is a competition we want to win. We’ve never won it as a club so it would be nice to go on and win it."

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