HE TH DI

Jones ready to put his body on the line

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - NOT P H

PHIL JONES has had more stun­ning en­dorse­ments of his abil­ity than any cur­rent Premier League player.

Just con­sider these. Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, who signed him for Manch­ester United for £16.5mil­lion six years ago, claimed he could be­come the club’s best-ever player.

Sir Bobby Charl­ton stated that Jones re­minded him of Old Traf­ford leg­end Dun­can Ed­wards.

For­mer Eng­land boss Fabio Capello com­pared the ex-Back­burn de­fender to Ital­ian great Franco Baresi.

And cur­rent Eng­land boss Gareth South­gate says Jones, 25, is the best de­fender in the coun­try.

So what does the down-to-earth United and Eng­land cen­tre-back make of all that? With a smile he said: “My wife, Kaya, has a de­scrip­tion of me, too – she’s al­ways say­ing I’m clumsy!”

It is Jones’ way of un­der­lin­ing he will not get car­ried away by praise – or be al­lowed to.

And he said: “When you are younger, as daft as it sounds, you don’t re­ally take too much no­tice. You just don’t for what­ever rea­son.

“The more ex­pe­ri­ence you get and the older you get, maybe you do take all that into con­sid­er­a­tion.

“They were com­ments that spoke highly of me, which is al­ways nice com­ing from the cal­i­bre of those peo­ple. It is nice.”

Jones con­tin­ues to make light of it all by say­ing of that com­par­i­son to Ed­wards: “The United fans must have thought they were get­ting some player – then they re­alised what they had!

“It wasn’t re­ally any ex­tra pres­sure. If you are get­ting praise, that’s great. As daft as it sounds, I try not to take it too much to heart.

“It’s the same as get­ting crit­i­cised. You can’t be up there one minute and down the next.

“The game is what it is and I just try to fo­cus on me and not what is go­ing on around me.

“What Gareth said, it’s def­i­nitely not what I think about my­self. There are a lot of tal­ented play­ers in the squad. Ev­ery­one wants to wear the Eng­land shirt and take pride in do­ing that.”

But no one should think that Jones lacks con­fi­dence. And while his brave, ro­bust style has caused him prob­lems, he is adamant he is not in­jury prone.

He says: “I’ve never sur­prised my­self, as I know what I am ca­pa­ble of. Some peo­ple like it, some peo­ple don’t. But my man­ager at United, Jose Mour­inho, likes it. He must like what he’s see­ing, so I’m happy I’m play­ing. And I def­i­nitely see my­self as a cen­tre-back. I do po­si­tion. I can de­fen­sive mid­fie def­i­nitely see m al­ways what I sai

“I feel I have dif phys­i­cal side of from the back an

“Pos­si­bly in­jur that’s be­cause I w I’ve got. Maybe I whereas in the p But I would call t for my own good

“The in­ter­net m made but that w un­der­neath the any­thing. But at the line and put y

And de­spite ha against Ger­many

in­jury pron 20, 30, 40 play­ers far more in­juries

“But no­body ta about me. Maybe and that’s the wa

“As a per­son, one lit­tle bit. No be­ing big-headed grounded. I try quiet life­style from foot­ball, be I think you have that. It works for But Jones adamant about thing. He said: “I los­ing at anyth was born to win that is some­thin de­ter­mined to United – and Eng

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