FOOTBALL NEWS

19/11/2012 19:13, Report by A Bostock, N Coppack

Jones ready for big return

Sir Alex Ferguson says time is on Phil Jones' side as the Manchester United defender prepares to make his long-awaited comeback against Galatasaray on Tuesday night.

The summer 2011 signing from Blackburn Rovers has not seen any action in 2012/13 so far but he's in Istanbul as a member of the Reds' 21-man squad and is seemingly set to start the penultimate game in Champions League Group H.

"It's a big day for Phil Jones," said Sir Alex at his pre-match press conference.

"He's been out all season but he's done enough training now to make sure his fitness is okay. I'm looking forward to bringing him back.

"Phil's had different types of injuries [in his United career so far]. He had concussion, he had a rib injury... but he's young so he's still to develop physically in terms of his body. He's only 20 years of age so there's plenty of time for him."

Jones is actually be one of the more experienced United players on the trip, with Sir Alex taking advantage of the Reds' early qualification from Group H to rest a number of senior players. As many as seven Reds could play in the Champions League for the first time.

"We don't consider the young players a gamble," said the manager. "What we do consider is our reputation and we have to be fair to the other teams in the group.

"When we discussed the team for tomorrow we had to give serious consideration to how the media and the public would react, so we had to think hard about the team we picked."

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