Sir Alex Ferguson has drawn comparisons between Phil Jones and former United and England captain Bryan Robson on the youngster’s birthday today.
Speaking at his weekly press conference at Carrington, Ferguson ruled Jones, 21 today, out of this weekend’s trip to QPR with injury.
But he was hopeful the former Blackburn man would be back in time for United’s make-or-break Old Trafford encounter with Real Madrid.
He said: “Phil tackled awkwardly the other night and tangled his foot there, that’s why he has the injury he has. He has the courage and willingness to tackle. Bryan Robson was the same.
“Bryan couldn’t see danger and neither can Phil. It’s a measure of his courage and I don’t want to take that away from him.”
Jones was lauded for his performance in the first-leg of the Champions’ League last 16 at the Bernabeu last week where he was given the job of containing former United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Phil Jones is the one we’re concerned about in terms of the Real Madrid game,” said Ferguson.
“We’re working hard on it and I’d say he has an outside chance – no more than that.
“Phil did an incredible job in Madrid. He doesn’t care who he’s playing against, he has no fear of playing against anyone. We’ll have to wait and see if he’s fit for the second leg. It’s two weeks away. A lot can happen.
“When you look at his tackles, he tackles like a young man. Maybe he’s too brave. He was unbalanced in the tackle and ended up injured. He’s an outside chance, that’s all. Other than that, everybody’s fit for QPR.”
The La Liga champions come to Manchester on March 5, and Ferguson’s side will be looking to capitalise on home advantage against the Spanish giants.
Real boss Jose Mourinho has never won a Champions’ League game at Old Trafford, despite his Porto side’s famous 2004 aggregate triumph over United after Costinha’s late equaliser.
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