Jones hails European form
Injury has forced Phil Jones to watch the majority of United’s Champions League campaign from the sidelines this season, but the defender says he has been hugely impressed by what he’s seen.
After exiting the competition at this stage last season, the Reds eased into the last 16 as Group H winners with two games to spare.
Jones says last season’s disappointment has fuelled United’s desire to succeed this time round and he hopes the players can carry their solid group form through to the latter stages.
“It’s not a nice feeling to get knocked out of the Champions League especially when you’re used to being in semi-finals and finals and winning it,” Jones told us.
“For a club of Manchester United’s stature it’s not an easy thing to deal with – it was a bitter pill to swallow.
“We’ve bounced back this season incredibly well and the lads have played some terrific stuff in the Champions League games that I’ve seen and gone to this season. That is credit to ourselves and hopefully we can kick on and go a long way in the competition.”
Who the Reds will face in the last 16 will not be decided until 20 December, but the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan could all be in the mix depending on the outcome of this week’s final round of group games.
“There are no bad teams in the Champions League,” insists Jones, who hopes to be involved in United’s final group match against CFR Cluj at Old Trafford. “It doesn’t matter who you get it’s always going to be a very difficult game, home and away.
“We’re just looking forward to being in the knock-out stages and are relishing the challenge.”