Master Vidic: Phil Jones hopes to emulate teacher Nemanja at Manchester United

Manchester United’s Phil Jones has applauded the influence that talisman Nemanja Vidic has had on his career, ahead of the Serbian’s move at the end of the season.

The Red Devils skipper is departing for warmer weather in the summer, with a switch to Inter Milan having already been finalised.

And Jones believes that Vidic’s skills have rubbed off on him during his time at Old Trafford.

“You learn off him every day in training, even if he doesn’t say anything, you just watch and learn,” Jones told the United Review.

“He’s been a huge influence on my career at United and has really helped me along the way.

“I owe him a lot and I am grateful for everything he’s done. It’s just his all-round game. From his communication to his passing to his tackling to his heading, he’s got some many great attributes.”

With Vidic leaving at the end of the season there will be a gap to fill in the heart of the United defence and Jones will be hoping to have gained enough experience to fill the void.

The 22-year-old featured at right-back in Saturdays 4-0 romp against Norwich, which was club legend Ryan Giggs’ first game in charge as United boss.

Despite the change in management, Jones is a firm believer that the key to a successful defence is continuity and consistency.

“There are different elements to it,” United’s number four added.

“Communication and concentration, of course, but I think you always want to have a settled back four.

“That helps everyone in the defence and it’s something that’s been difficult for us at times this season because of injuries.

“We all just want to keep improving defensively and as a team as a whole.”

Jones was picked alongside Vidic in last weekends starting line-up in a back four filled with familiarity.

They were joined by experienced campaigners Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, both of whom have uncertain futures at Old Trafford.

With two games left to play, Giggs has set his side the challenge of winning both fixtures and Jones will be hoping to feature heavily in both.

The former Blackburn Rovers player will also hope that the lessons learnt from Vidic will stand him in good stead when it comes to claiming a place in the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

Image courtesty of Phil Jones Official, via Youtube, with thanks

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