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Phil Jones: Jose Mourinho has given me so much confidence at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Phil Jones has explained how Jose Mourinho has reinvigorated his confidence at Manchester United, noting that the 54-year-old, unlike his predecessor, believes in his abilities at Old Trafford.

The Englishman begun the 2016/17 season on the periphery of proceedings, giving rise to rumours of a potential move to Stoke City.

But Jones finally received his opportunity to impress in early November, during a 3-1 win over Swansea City, before going on to cement himself as a regular under Mourinho.

The 24-year-old, who has now made 17 appearances this season, was quick to heap praise on the Portuguese.

“The only three (managers to believe in me) were Sam Allardyce, Sir Alex Ferguson and now Jose Mourinho,” he said.

“Jose, this season has just given me so much confidence in training. You make a mistake and it is just a case of ‘so what, get on with it’.

“For whatever reason he (Van Gaal) thought I needed to be fitter. I had no problem with that, I just played the games. I did what I could do to get back in the team and unfortunately it didn’t really work out under him.

“No question there were thoughts about my future. It was in the back of my mind. If you are not playing games that speaks volumes.”

Throughout the majority of Jones’ career, especially during and after the dying stages of the Fergie era, it was thought that all the Englishman needed to reach his potential was a run of games.

But this was difficult to come by, with a mixture of arbitrary team changes and nagging injuries precluding Jones from ever enjoying a sustained period in the starting XI.

Finally, however, Mourinho has given him the chance to cement himself, and supporters are now finally seeing the bullish, no-nonsense force of nature that they hoped for back in 2010.

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