Phil Jones 2012/2013 appearances:

Premier League: 3 (4)

FA Cup: 2

Champions League: 2

TOTAL: 7 (4)

27/01/2013 08:00, Report by Adam Marshall

Jones lauded by Sir Alex

Sir Alex Ferguson has lavished praise on Phil Jones and praised the defender's versatility.

Jones was an instant hit last season after joining Manchester United from Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2011 but injuries curtailed his progress in the current campaign prior to his return in late November. Recent performances against West Ham and Tottenham proved he is back to his best and they came in two very different positions - centre-back and central midfield.

The fact that Sir Alex started with the England international at White Hart Lane, in such an important league fixture, shows the faith he has in the former Blackburn man.

"Jones was absolutely brilliant at Tottenham in the role we asked him to play," said the boss. "He did it really well. He can play anywhere. He is quick, two-sided and reads the game well. He’s competitive and has got a great change of pace going forward so the boy has done very well."

Some pundits have likened Jones to Chelsea stalwart John Terry during his Ewood Park days, but the manager does not subscribe to that viewpoint. 

"Well, I think he’s got more in his locker than Terry had to be honest with you but Terry gathered experience and became a fantastic central figure for Chelsea," added Sir Alex. "Obviously, he was the main man at Chelsea but, as a young player, I think John would be the first to admit he didn’t have the pace of Jones.

"He’s a very versatile boy while John is a centre-back. Jones is proving himself everywhere."

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