Phil Jones remains upbeat over Manchester United title chances

 

Manchester United defender Phil Jones is refusing to abandon his Premier League title dream.

Following Monday's crushing defeat at Manchester City, United now need to record massive wins over Swansea and Sunderland in their final two matches, or hope Newcastle or QPR do them a huge favour by avoiding defeat against Roberto Mancini's men.

Of all those scenarios, City failing to win at Newcastle is the most likely, with a team that was eight points clear with just four games to go now in the painful position of requiring help from others.

And for Jones, the pain is even more acute given he is one of the few members of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad who has not experienced the joy of a championship-winning campaign.

The 20-year-old is not giving up just yet though.

And, acknowledging United performed below their own lofty expectations at the Etihad Stadium in midweek, he insists the situation can be retrieved.

"There have obviously been a lot of questions raised and rightly so," he said.

"We didn't play to our best on Monday, which was disappointing.

"But make no mistake about it, we are still there.

"We are on level points with them. Only goal difference separates us at the moment and we have seen already this season there have been so many twists and turns.

"Don't be surprised if you see a few more."

United's customary resilience was on show on the training ground in the middle of the week, once their task was obvious.

Jones reports there has been no suggestion of anyone feeling sorry for themselves.

"The disappointment turned to positivity very quickly," he said.

"Obviously on Tuesday the lads were gutted and massively disappointed.

"But we have moved on quickly, pushed it to one side and put it right in training. There are still a lot of bubbly characters about.

"There is no point dwelling on it. It has happened. It has gone. We move on from it and are looking forward to the game at the weekend."

And United know from their own experience how difficult facing Newcastle can be.

After all, they managed to secure a single point from their two meetings with the Magpies this term and were thumped on Tyneside at the beginning of January, suffering a comprehensive three-goal mauling even though they were facing a team who did not have 13-goal striking phenomenon Papiss Cisse in their ranks.

"They were terrific that night," said Jones.

"They pressed us really well and we didn't get going.

"But I have said all along, Newcastle are a terrific team with some fantastic individuals.

"Cisse's two goals the other night were incredible, so let's hope they can do us a favour."

It promises to be a difficult Sunday for United, who must somehow manage to retain focus on their own encounter with Swansea knowing their destiny is being shaped somewhere else in a match that concludes 30 minutes before theirs is about to start.

"We have to concentrate on what we can do," said Jones.

"We have to win the two games, take six points and see where that takes us.

"I am sure what is happening at Newcastle will be in the back of everyone's minds but there is no point sitting there watching their game.

"I don't think it will be on in the dressing room because we have to prepare properly."

Jones certainly doesn't buy into Roberto Mancini's theory that United will cruise through their first Old Trafford encounter with Swansea since 1983.

Brendan Rodgers' side have already caused enough damage this season for everyone to be aware of their quality, including beating City at the Liberty Stadium in March.

"I don't know about it being easy," said Jones.

"If he (Mancini) looks at the games, none of them are easy in the Premier League.

"We have seen that so often this season. There have been so many surprises and Swansea are one of them."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine