Phil Jones has urged Jose Mourinho for a chance to play for Manchester United in Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
He played in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the last game of the Premier League after the Portuguese boss claimed he’d be battling with Chris Smalling for a place in the starting line-up.
Speaking about the squad, Jones claims it could be a defining moment in United’s season.
“We have to win,” he said. “In a nutshell, probably [it is make or break]. It’s a defining moment in our season and we need to make sure we win the game. We want Champions League football; it’s what we have to do to win the game.
“We know Champions League football is the end goal, but we need to earn the right to be in the Champions League and that’s by winning on Wednesday night. We’ve no God-given right to win the Europa League. We deserve to be there. We deserve to be in the final, but we have to show up and prove we are good enough and that’s what we will do.
“I’m more than ready to adapt to whatever the manager decides. He’s got 11 tough decisions to make but I’ve said all along that whoever plays will go out and do the job to the best of their ability.
“He’s rotated the squad to give people a rest, freshen people up, give minutes. I think he’s got a terrific balance of the squad going into Wednesday. The people who are fit are raring to go and raring to be selected.
“There are a lot of games. Manchester United want to be playing in every competition so there are going to be a lot of games. We would be disappointed if we weren’t in every competition. That means we weren’t successful. I can understand the lads’ tiredness; we’ve had a lot of games. But we need to give it one more big push on Wednesday night.
“I still would’ve liked to play more this season. I’ve picked up a few injuries that were unfortunate, shall we say. Still I feel I’ve had a good season. When I’ve played, I feel like we went on a run of 25 games unbeaten. Every time I started I think we lost once until I came back against Arsenal. I think I’ve had a good season; hopefully, I can play more next season and be better.
“He [Jose] is a great manager to work for. This season, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it under him. Even when I was out of the team at the start of the season, he always gave me the confidence I would get into the team if I was training and playing well. He was true to his word. He always made me feel wanted and I owe him a lot for that.”
Jones was in spectacular form earlier in the season and although his run of games was ruined by injury, he’ll be looking to cement his place back in the team.
It’s disappointing that Mourinho won’t be able to start either Rojo or Bailly following their incredible contributions this campaign, but he’ll be looking to start his best possible lineup with players that are match ready.