• Premier League

Jones hopes for injury-free season

ESPN staff
May 25, 2013
Injury-plagued Phil Jones only made 24 appearances in Manchester United's title winning campaign © PA Photos

Manchester United defender Phil Jones is hoping a full pre-season programme will help him have an injury-free campaign.

The 21-year-old, tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson to become United's greatest ever player, missed the first three months of last season with back and knee problems, and the England international admits he has rarely been able to prepare properly for a season in his brief career.

United visit Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong in July and August, and Jones believes the tour will be vital for his preparation.

"That's important for me for the next season coming up," he told Inside United. "I think I've only had one pre-season and that was in my first season here so it's important I get a full pre-season under my belt. I need to get fitter and stronger and mentally prepare myself for what will be another tough season again."

Jones, who moved to Old Trafford from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5million in 2011, made 24 appearances last season, including a man-of-the-match performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Before the tour, Jones will join up with the England squad for the friendly matches with the Republic of Ireland and Brazil on May 29 and June 2 respectively and, now considered a member of the senior party, was not selected for the Under-21s who will go to the European Championships in Israel.

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