Phil Jones: I’ve still got a long way to go with fitness

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United defender Phil Jones believes he still has a long way to go before he makes his full return from injury.

Jones has started Man United U21s’ last two fixtures against Chelsea and Middlesbrough following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, not for the first time this season either.

He struggled against Chelsea but the Middlesbrough game saw a much more composed display from the 24-year-old and Jones insisted he is feeling his way back to full fitness.

“It’s always difficult, fitness-wise, and – with sharpness – you’re always way off it. But it was nice to finish 90 minutes and I’m obviously looking forward to the coming games,” Jones said.

“I’ve still got a long way to go with fitness and getting the sharpness back, but this was a good step in the right direction.”

Jones has not featured in the first-team under Louis van Gaal since the beginning of January and his whole United career to date has been plagued with injury, so it’s not a surprise to see him sidelined for so much of the season.

Chris Smalling has kicked on and really made a name for himself at United and for England but Jones’ progress has stagnated. Unfortunately, he cannot be relied upon to deliver on a consistent basis due to his fitness issues and you get the sense that patience may wear thin with him if he can’t return from this injury and stay fit for a while.

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