Manchester United braced for ‘daunting’ trip to St James’ Park
Phil Jones admits Manchester United face a difficult test against Newcastle United, with the St James' Park crowd set to play a part
Phil Jones is expecting a difficult battle against Newcastle United as Manchester United make the “daunting” trip to St James’ Park on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side who were beaten 3-2 by Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve.
And Jones believes atmosphere created by the St James’ Park faithful always makes for a testing trip as United look to bounce back from Saturday’s surprise defeat and keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
“It can be a daunting place to go,” Jones told United’s website. “It’s a great atmosphere. They have passionate fans and it will be another difficult game.”
Meanwhile, the England international is relishing being part of the title race following his move from relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers in June.
“I am excited and I’m loving it,” he continued. “It was a nice feeling to get out of trouble with Blackburn on the last day of the season but it’s an even nicer feeling knowing you are at the top of the table wih a fantastic chance of winning the English title.
“When the chips are down, you see who the real fighters are. When we kick off every week, we have 11 people fighting on that pitch to win a match. That is the beauty of Manchester United.”
And the defender insists there is no point complaining about a congested fixture list because every Premier League club is placed under the same demands during the festive period.
“These periods are all getting bigger,” added Jones. “Everyone has a little bit of a moan about how many games there are around Christmas but the beauty of it is that everyone is in the same position.
“We just have to get on with it. It’s about how we manage and cope with injuries. We’ve been a bit unfortunate but are still up there fighting with the best.”