Jones spoke for the first time since making his first appearance since January 2020
Phil Jones has said that his return to the Manchester United first-team has made him “feel like a footballer again.”
The 29-year-old made his first appearance for the side since a third round FA Cup tie away to Tranmere Rovers in January, 2020 last week and was given a standing ovation for his display despite United’s defeat to Wolves.
And Jones has admitted that it was an emotional experience to make his return at Old Trafford.
“You know, I spent so long out, off the pitch and out of the squad – it’s been horrible at times, but it’s nice to be back out with the lads. I feel like a footballer again,” he told Team Viewer.
“It’s just a great feeling. As soon as you step out, I think I was on the bench for West Ham in the (Carabao) Cup. Even for a cup game at Old Trafford it was absolutely packed and it was just – was sat on the bench and I was thinking ‘God I’ve missed this.’
“I’ve missed this feeling of being involved with the stadium and the fans there, the excitement, the buzz. It all came flooding back straight away. ”
?️ “I put my blood, sweat and tears into everything I do for this club.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 8, 2022
The centre-back also reserved praise for his teammates, who he said have given him unwavering support during his lengthy spell away from the team.
He said: “You know the lads, they were great, they were considerate at times and understood the situation I was going through.
“They know it’s tough, what it’s like to be out for a while, let alone a year or whatever it was.
“I’m more than open to helping players when they’re struggling with different parts of the game. Different things they encounter outside of football. It doesn’t always have to be on the pitch.
A milestone that's been 712 days in the making.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 4, 2022
“I’m sure the fans see everything that happens on the pitch, but sometimes it’s off the pitch that determines what happens on the pitch.
“I’d like to think that if someone’s struggling, or if one of the young lads needs help, then yeah, for sure I’d always give that advice.
“Any time I represent this club and put the shirt on, I give my absolutely everything and I put my blood, sweat and tears into everything I do for this club.”
Jones could be in line to keep his place in the side on Monday night when United face Aston Villa in the FA Cup.