Monday 19 March 2018

Jones explains exit ahead of Rovers return

Phil Jones was once part of the Blackburn barrier that has proved so difficult for Manchester United to knock down over the years -- but it is the memory of the Red Devils' title celebrations at Ewood Park that persuaded the defender to switch clubs.

Jones was only a raw teenager when he made his first appearance against Alex Ferguson's men, a goalless draw in 2010 that effectively ended any hope United had of overhauling Chelsea for the championship.

The same outcome last term had totally different consequences, as a late Wayne Rooney equaliser proved enough to clinch the Reds a record 19th title.

United began their party on the field as soon as the final whistle blew. And Jones wanted a piece of the action.

"That is exactly why I left," he said.

"I had some fond memories from my time at Blackburn and there are some wonderful people at the club.

"But I wanted to win trophies and become part of a team with a massive background, which United have."

Meanwhile, Ferguson insists he still has faith in United striker Federico Macheda, even though the youngster has had yet another loan deal cut shot.


Macheda left for QPR in January, optimistic he would prove he could cut it in the Premier League.

Unfortunately for the Italian, manager Neil Warnock was sacked within a matter of weeks and he never saw eye-to-eye with replacement Mark Hughes.

The 20-year-old had not made an appearance since coming on as a substitute at Aston Villa on February 1, although he did hit the headlines when he was fined £15,000 by the Football Association for posting a homophobic tweet, and he has now returned to United for an ankle operation that will end his season.

"He is so unlucky," Ferguson said. "I have complete belief in the boy. He could be an outstanding player. But he needs football.

"We put him on loan to QPR. Two weeks later they sack the coach and he doesn't get a game."

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