Phil Jones is ‘buzzing’ to be back in a Manchester United shirt after rejoining his teammates for the first time in half a year last night.
The England youngster has battled back from a lengthy stint on the injury table and played a full 90 minutes during United’s 1-0 away defeat to Galatasaray.
And with his first appearance of the season under his belt, Jones is eager to build on his impressive performance and emulate fellow countryman and injury training partner Chris Smalling in making a vital return to the first-team.
“I’m knackered to be honest,” he told the club’s official website. “It wasn’t the best of pitches to play on either. It was quite heavy on the legs but I’m delighted to get through 90 minutes.
“I’m buzzing about that. It’s been difficult. I’ve had my downs. I picked up a few niggles and had surgery on my knee so I’ve had a pretty wretched four or five months.”
“Hopefully I can push on now, get back in the team and prove why I should be here.”
During the pre-match build up, United’s famous 1993 trip to Istanbul – where they were ‘welcomed to hell’ – was etched in their manager’s and club’s history.
And the passionate Turkish fans rocked the stadium as expected – almost screaming the roof off when Galatasaray took the lead.
“It’s the best [atmosphere] I’ve ever played in,” Jones added. “From start to finish. I couldn’t hear the keeper. I couldn’t pass messages on. It was very difficult but the same for both teams.
“We should have switched on and dealt with the corner. We shouldn’t be getting punished on set-pieces. But I think we were a bit unfortunate.”