Although it may sound ridiculous, starting two consecutive games for Manchester United is a high point of sorts for Phil Jones. Now the English centre-back wants to be number one for Jose Mourinho, restarting his career at 24.
Jones has suffered from a multitude of injuries, plaguing the last three seasons of his career. His start at Swansea City ahead of the international break was his first for almost a year. In Saturday's 1-1 draw against Arsenal, Jones played the full 90 minutes.
Strangely, perhaps, it is a good sign that Jones hasn't attracted much attention on his comeback. While he hasn't been overly tested, he looked composed against both Swansea and Arsenal.
Despite conceding an 89th-minute equaliser to Olivier Giroud, Jones was pleased with the game. "It was great, personally, for me," he told United's official website. "It's been a difficult period for me. It is good to be back in the fold and playing again."
Being injured, Jones said, is 'awful' but it is important to maintain a positive mentality in that time. "You can't feel sorry for yourself, go into a little hole and never come out of your home," he said.
Jones has "worked to get back," from multiple injuries
Jones said he has "worked to get back," and he now wants to "stay here," and "play more games".
Jones was bought by Sir Alex Ferguson for a then-impressive £16.75m in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers. It's not only recently his time at Old Trafford has been tough. He said the last 10 months have "been tough mentally for me and it has been so frustrating, I can't put [that feeling] into words."
Concerned about an injury reoccurring, Jones told ManUtd.com that he had to be patient to get back in action, having been "fit for a good few weeks before the Swansea game."
Jones reveals he was patient in attempt to avoid relapse
Why wait? "I wanted to make sure that I was 100 per cent right going into the first game. Training and games are two different things," because games, particularly in the Premier League are "so quick and sharp these days."
Despite an initial good start to his recovery, Jones is "just focusing on game to game, playing football, doing what I love doing and I will go from there."