Roy Keane: Man United defenders have ‘gone backwards’

Roy Keane criticises Manchester United defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling

Roy Keane has criticised Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, claiming that the Manchester United duo have “gone backwards” this season.

The England pair were regular fixtures in United’s defence this term as the Red Devils struggled to adapt to life following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and finished seventh in the Premier League.

They need to do a lot better if they want to cement their place at Man United

Roy Keane

And former United captain Keane was disappointed not to see the duo, who are both in the England squad for this summer’s World Cup, make progress this season.

“They’ve had a platform for the last couple of years,” Keane told reporters. “We were told two or three years ago Jones was going to be the new Duncan Edwards. Smalling was this…

“I’ve watched United live nine, 10 times this year and they have been none of those things. If anything I think they have gone backwards.

“They need to do a lot better if they want to cement their place at Man United and United to win trophies. Jones needs to toughen up.

“Every time I see him he is getting carried off. He’s got to toughen up – he’s playing for Man United.”

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