Galatasaray v Man United: It’s a big day for Phil Jones, says Sir Alex Ferguson
Galatasaray v Man United: Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is delighted to have youngster Phil Jones available for selection again
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is delighted to have Phil Jones back fit for Manchester United’s clash against Galatasaray in the Champions League.
The 20-year-old suffered a back injury in pre-season training before undergoing knee surgery, meaning Jones is yet to make an appearance this term.
The England international, who was signed from Blackburn Rovers in a £16m deal in 2011, was a first-team regular in his debut campaign at Old Trafford, and Ferguson is pleased to have Jones available for selection again.
“It’s a big day for Phil Jones because he has been out all season,” Ferguson said.
“He has done enough training to make his fitness is okay and I am looking forward to bringing him back.
“He has had different types of injuries. He is young and he is still to develop physically because he is only 20 years of age, so he has plenty of time.”
The United manager is expected to field a weakened side for the trip to Turkey on Tuesday night, with their passage into the knockout stage assured courtesy of a 3-1 win against Braga in their last outing.
Ferguson is confident his youngsters, such as Nick Powell and Alex Buttner, can cope in Europe’s premier competition, with the Red Devils boss wanting his side to be competitive against Galatasaray.
“Apart from Nick Powell and Alex Buttner a lot of the players have experience of this,” he added.
“They are experienced of playing in front of big crowds. It’s completely different for Powell, it will be his first game at this level, but his temperament will be important.
“We don’t consider it a gamble, but we do consider our reputation and being fair to the teams in the group.
“We have to give serious consideration to the impact on the media and the public [in Turkey] when we come to picking our team.
“We are in a great position. We’ve qualified but we will be making sure we play with some pride and that we are fair to the other teams in group.”
Galatasaray v Man United: Pre-match facts
• Galatasaray have taken just a point from two Group H home fixtures to date and have not won at home in Europe in five games, since beating Panathinaikos 1-0 in the Europa League group stage in December 2009.
• Galatasaray beat United on away goals in the 1993-94 second round after a 3-3 aggregate draw. Ryan Giggs and Mike Phelan, now United’s assistant manager, played in the 0-0 draw in the second leg.
• Galatasaray’s last home encounter with Premier League opposition brought a 3-2 victory over Liverpool in 2006-07. Their record against English sides at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi is W2 D3 L2.
• Milan Baroš scored once in ten appearances against United with Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth. The only games that did not end in defeat were Liverpool’s 2002-03 League Cup final win and Portsmouth’s 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final success at Old Trafford in 2007-08.