After almost 6-months out, Phil Jones is relishing his return to Manchester United.
Jones last night played the full 90-minutes for Manchester United against Galatasaray out in Istanbul, his first appearance since he had featured for England on International duty back in May.
Jones had a bad summer in Manchester, first suffering a back injury and then required knee surgery towards the end of pre-season.
Speaking with MUTV, Jones expressed his joy to be back:
“I’m delighted to get through the 90 minutes, I’m buzzing about that. It’s been difficult. I’ve had my downs. I picked up a few niggles and had surgery on my knee so I’ve had a pretty wretched four or five months.”
“I’ve been in the gym every day and it’s not easy. I had to concentrate on getting myself fit and worked quite hard to get to where I am now so I’m just delighted to be back. I’ll feel stiff on Wednesday but everything is fine.”
“Hopefully I can push on now, get back in the team and prove why I should be here.”
Phil Jones played the full 90-minutes against Galatasaray, a game which finished in a 1-0 defeat. The pitch and atmosphere were two deciding factors for Jones, he had this to say:
“It wasn’t the best of pitches to play on, It was quite heavy on the legs. It’s the best [atmosphere] I’ve ever played in. From start to finish I couldn’t hear the keeper. I couldn’t pass messages on. It was very difficult but the same for both teams.”
Sir Alex Ferguson left David De Gea back in Manchester for this trip, taking Anders Lindegaard & Sam Johnstone to Galatasaray. Anders Lindegaard agreed with Phil Jones about the atmosphere and praised Jones for his performance on his return to the first team.
“I think Phil did well, He showed he’s on the way back and he’s an important player for us. He’s going to be very important in the next couple of months when we have plenty of games coming up.”
“It was quite a special atmosphere to play in. Very hectic, very noisy and loud. You can’t really communicate on the field by yelling and talking. You need to be more visual. At times, obviously it was very difficult for me.”
One of the most senior players in the Manchester United squad, Darren Fletcher, felt the game will benefit the inexperienced players. Both on and off the pitch the experience for the youngsters in the squad is fantastic.
Fletcher speaking with Sky Sports said:
“All the young players who played did fantastic, and playing in an atmosphere like this will only stand them in good stead for the future.”
“In difficult conditions – the pitch wasn’t great and it was an intimidating atmosphere – I thought we did extremely well, especially in the first half.”