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Phil Jones unconcerned by Paul Scholes criticism

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has shrugged off Paul Scholes’ suggestion he is not “clever enough” to play at centre-back.

Jones played at right-back during England’s 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland last weekend rather than in his preferred position at the heart of defence.

Ahead of the game, Scholes suggested the 23-year-old isn’t intelligent enough to play in the centre and that his pace and power is more suited to the right hand side.

Jones dismissed the criticism from Scholes and insisted he has belief in his own ability.

Phil Jones 5

When asked about the comments, Jones said: ”People comment all the time about individuals. Gone are the days when I used to take notice of what people say and react to it. It doesn’t bother me one little bit any more.

“I am at the stage now where I can’t be considered as a young player any more. I have got to step up, keep playing well and do what I do best.

“I have played in all three [positions] now [centre-back, right-back and midfield] and sometimes it can be difficult going from one position to the next, but I feel more comfortable at right-back.

“Obviously centre-back is where I want to be playing, but I was happy to play at right-back [against Ireland]. You just take it on the chin and play where you are asked to play. I know I can play in those positions.”

Phil Jones Chris Smalling

Louis van Gaal often used Jones at centre-back last season but his development has stalled compared to players such as Chris Smalling.

As for Jones at right-back, he is much better when he plays centrally but is still happy to play wherever he is chosen.

The player is steadily running out of time to make the position his own. United continue to be linked with the likes of Mats Hummels and Raphael Varane, so it appears Van Gaal is unconvinced by Jones in the long-term.

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