Phil Jones was one of a number of players unsure of his future when Jose Mourinho walked through the door at Old Trafford.
After an injury-hit couple of years under both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, it looked as though Jones would never fulfil the promise he showed at Blackburn Rovers, which made Sir Alex Ferguson bring the teenager to the club for £16.5 million and claim the player would have a phenomenal career at the club.
Jones, still only 24, has taken his opportunity in the first team under Mourinho after injuries to both Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly forced the ex-Chelsea boss to throw both Jones, just back from an eleven-month layoff, and Marcos Rojo together in the most unlikely of partnerships, with both fearing for their future at the club.
The duo grabbed their opportunity and have become vital to the club’s revival in recent weeks, however.
As quoted in the Daily Mirror, the England international defender is determined to continue his good form and stay part of the first team squad.
“It’s always nice to share comments from the manager and other people that you’re doing well.
“I’m not under any illusions, though. In this game you can be up there one minute and down the next, so I need to keep going and keep improving.
“Football is a strange game. You can be in one minute and out the next. You have to make sure every time you put that shirt on you produce a performance that warrants you putting that shirt on in the next game.
“That’s what I’m trying to do and I will try to keep going forward.”
The form of Jones and Rojo in the absence of Bailly has quietened talk of a need to reinforce the defence in the January transfer window with a move for Benfica’s Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof appearing to be off the cards until at least the summer.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena