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Man Utd boss Ferguson surprised after Jones is left out of England squad

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By Peter Stickney

Friday 01 February 2013

Manchester United Phil Jones has been picked for the England Under-21 side but according to the Daily Mail, his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is unhappy with the decision.

Phil Jones

Despite Jones having five caps for the senior national side, the England manager Roy Hodgson has decided not to pick him for the upcoming friendly against Brazil, allowing him instead the opportunity to play for Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 team.

Jones has been a fixture recently for Manchester United, having started in their last four games. However in a particularly busy part of the season with games against Fulham in the FA Cup last Saturday, Southampton in the Premier League in midweek and Fulham again away in the Premier League on Saturday, his manager would clearly have preferred for him to rest rather than travelling to Walsall to face Sweden in a friendly.

If Jones starts this weekend at Craven Cottage and against Sweden next Tuesday, he will have played four games in 11 days. With only 14 league games remaining this season and Manchester United still to face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League and Reading in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Ferguson wants his players as rested as possible.

Ferguson said: “I haven’t paid much attention to it but surprised he’s in the Under 21s and not the full squad. 'It’s happened quite a few times to players and it’s understandable but for the players that’s more difficult to manage because once a player gets into a full squad he thinks he’s achieved what he wants to achieve.

Taking the step back can be hard to manage but he’s 20 and maybe he’s as good as the Under 21 squad are going to get.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Fulham v Man Utd

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