Home » Michael Carrick: Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been terrific

Michael Carrick: Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been terrific

by Ben Topliss

Michael Carrick has praised Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling ahead of England’s games against Lithuania and Italy.

Both Jones and Smalling were in and out of Louis van Gaal’s starting XI earlier in the campaign due to injury but the pair have kicked on in recent weeks, establishing a solid partnership at the heart of Man United’s defence.

Smalling was particularly impressive against Liverpool on Sunday as United sealed a crucial 2-1 victory.

Carrick was full of praise for the pair and said their development is coming along nicely.

Speaking about Jones and Smalling, Carrick said: ”Both have been terrific and have come on a lot this season. They’re turning into really top centre-halves.”

Although both players have still had some shaky moments at the back for United, Jones and Smalling seem to really be pushing on at Old Trafford.

There were concerns over the duo during the first half of the season as a combination of injuries and loss of form looked to have derailed their progress at the club.

Instead, van Gaal was forced to use youngsters such as Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett during the early part of his reign. Jones and Smalling have now put that behind them and will be looking to finish the season strongly as United aim to qualify for the Champions League.

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