Phil’s fighting talk over United title bid

Manchester United defender Phil Jones
Manchester United defender Phil Jones

Leyland lad Phil Jones has warned Manchester City they can still be overhauled in the Premier League title race, just as Manchester United were six years ago.

City’s advantage at the Premier League summit is 12 points, though their first top-flight loss of the season to Liverpool on Sunday has at least given the chasing pack hope.

United are at the head of that group of challengers having beaten Stoke 3-0 and Jones still remembers when they were in a position as comfortable as City’s current one only to eventually miss out on the crown by virtue of their goal difference.

Jones was born in 
Preston and grew up in Clayton-le-Woods. He attended Balshaw’s High School in Leyland, and joined Blackburn as a youngster. In his first season at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were eight points ahead of City in April with six games to go, only to see the title end up across town.

Having gone through that experience, Jones knows nothing is yet set in stone as far as this year’s title race goes. “Football’s football, never say never,” he said. “I remember in my first season we were eight points clear – 
absolutely cruising – and we lost it on the final day.

“Football’s football. People can say what they want but we’ll continue to be positive and push forward. You never know. It happened in 2012 to us so why not?”

United’s title bid would receive a boost should they sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal this month. Jones said: “It’s not up to us, it’s not down to us. We know just as much as you guys.”