Manchester United defender Phil Jones rejects criticism from Stuart Pearce
The former England U21 manager claimed some players weren't interested in playing for the Young Lions
Friday 13 September 2013
Stuart Pearce's stinging criticism of Phil Jones has not put the Manchester United man off playing for England.
Pearce this week singled out Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as two players who missed the European Under-21 Championships because he believed they felt dropping back down from the senior squad was beneath them.
Jones has insisted Pearce's claims are not true but it underlines the problems that can arise when players put themselves up for national selection.
But it has not dampened his enthusiasm for England duty.
Speaking on a visit to his old school, Balshaw's CE High School in Leyland, to deliver football equipment he helped pay for as part of a combined initiative involving the Premier League, PFA and Manchester United, Jones said: "It is an honour to represent your country at any level and I will continue to enjoy that experience when it happens.
"I have represented the Under-19s, the Under-21s and the seniors. I said from the first day I pulled on an England shirt, it sent shivers down my spine.
"How he can come out and say I didn't want to play for the Under-21s is beyond me.
"It wasn't nice to read what he said and I am sure Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is thinking the same thing."
Having missed the first three months of last season, and another six-week period between the middle of February and the beginning of April with a knee injury, then-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to protect Jones.
In addition, England boss Roy Hodgson would not countenance any player chosen for the post-season trip to Brazil to also be selected for Under-21 duty.
Hodgson informed Pearce he wanted Jones with him in Rio and the former Blackburn man subsequently completed the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw at the Maracana Stadium, having played the second half of a Wembley encounter with Republic of Ireland just four days earlier.
"It was totally out of my hands," said Jones.
"Roy Hodgson came out prior to the Under-21 tournament and said he regarded me as a senior player.
"I went on to play against Ireland and Brazil, so it wasn't a waste of time going with the seniors.
"Probably if I had been on the bench I could have seen where he (Pearce) was coming from but I got a lot of experience from those two games.
"Don't forget also I had just come back from a knee injury, for the second time, and I had to manage it in the right way, control it and make sure I wasn't overusing it.
"That's why I am really disappointed in these comments."
Latest in Sport
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho to push for Diego Costa to play at Old Trafford
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Sunderland vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview
- 1 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 2 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts