Phil Jones accepts injury frustrations at Manchester United

Defender available again following knee surgery during summer

Phil Jones accepts he cannot help being injured when he was really needed by Manchester United - and now being fit when everyone else is.

It wasn't until last week's Premier League encounter with QPR that Sir Alex Ferguson had more than four defenders to choose from.

Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia have been forced to fill in at times, so stretched have the Red Devils' resources been.

Yet, with Chris Smalling now back from a broken metatarsal and skipper Nemanja Vidic in line to face Cluj in the Champions League on Wednesday, Jones is not guaranteed any involvement despite being available again after summer knee surgery.

"That's football," he said.

"It's swings and roundabouts with injuries. It's amazing how quickly you can be up there one minute and then down there. Everyone knows that.

"I've just got to knuckle down, train well and when I get the chance perform well."

Jones is ready for the challenge though.

"I feel fit and strong," he said.

"Obviously I haven't played a lot of minutes yet. But I felt good in the game I have had, and it was quite a difficult one to come back into.

"It is going to take a while to get my match fitness back but hopefully I can pick up some more minutes as the season progresses."

Jones will hope to be involved at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow when United aim to consolidate their place at the top of the Premier League by beating relegation-threatened Reading.

The Royals have struggled badly this term, managing just one win from their 14 games and are currently four points from safety.

Yet Jones knows there is no point United expecting an easy game.

Having already been beaten at Norwich, the 20-year-old is acutely aware the Premier League has nasty surprises in store for any team whose attitude is not right.

"Reading will be a difficult team to play against, especially at the Madejski," he said.

"They will have the crowd on their side and we will be up against it.

"But I am sure we have the strength to cope."

Victory would confirm United's present status ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season at the Etihad Stadium on December 8.

With European qualification already assured as well, Jones feels it has been a decent campaign for the Old Trafford outfit so far, even if they only kept their third clean sheet of the season in Wednesday's win over West Ham.

"We are playing well, passing the ball well and creating chances," he said.

"Hopefully the clean sheet against West Ham will spur us on to have more of them.

"It's nice for all of us to be sat top of the league and qualified for the Champions League knock-out stages.

"We are in a great position. Hopefully we can kick on from here."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map