x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Keeping up in Manchester derby not a worry for Phil Jones

Defender is confident he can handle the high-octane nature of his first competitive Manchester derby.

MANCHESTER // Phil Jones is confident he can handle the high-octane nature of his first competitive Manchester derby.

The 19-year-old defender has experience of the fractious rivalry between Burnley and Blackburn Rovers during his time at Ewood Park, but the England international expects that intensity to be surpassed at Old Trafford on Sunday, as Manchester United entertain City looking for a win that would take them back to the top of the table.

"I played for Blackburn against Burnley and that was pretty hostile, although I would imagine this tops that one," Jones said.

"The atmosphere doesn't bother me too much. We've been away in the Champions League and played in hostile atmospheres.

"This is obviously going to be massive for both clubs. It means a lot to the fans. Hopefully we can get one over on them and make our supporters happy."

This particular meeting is given added spice by the fact the two Manchester clubs currently lie first and second in the Premier League table.

There is a sense within the United camp that City offer the greatest threat to their status as champions given the vast amounts of money Roberto Mancini has been able to spend in amassing one of the strongest squads in Europe.

"They've had a lot of money to spend and have brought some quality players in," said Jones.

"But we are just treating it as another game.

"All the papers are hyping it up. That's natural - it's a derby.

"But we can't afford to look at it like that. It's far too early in the season to start ruling out teams, and trying to decide who's going to win the league.

"However, it would be a good confidence booster, and if we concentrate on what we're good at I am sure we'll get the three points."

 

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