Belfast Telegraph

World Cup relief for Jones

Phil Jones should be fit to go to the World Cup with England after his shoulder injury proved less serious than was feared, Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs has said.

Jones came off in the 16th minute of United's 3-1 win over Hull on Tuesday after a clash with Maynor Figueroa.

Giggs says Jones did not dislocate his left shoulder as had been the concern, and Welshman Giggs insists the defender can be selected in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, which will be announced on Monday.

"Phil's injury is not as bad as I thought it was on the night," Giggs said.

"He won't be available for Sunday (when United play Southampton), but he should be okay for the World Cup."

The news that Jones should be fit for the tournament in Brazil is a boost for England manager Roy Hodgson, who needs the Manchester United defender as cover for right-back as Kyle Walker is in danger of missing out due to a pelvic injury.

Hodgson will be concerned that star striker Wayne Rooney is still being troubled by a groin injury, although Giggs insists the player will be fit to fly to South America.

Rooney has missed the last two United games with the problem and he will not partake in the final match of the season.

"Wayne has just started training over the last couple of days and Sunday probably will come a bit too quick for him," Giggs said.

"But he will obviously be fine for the World Cup also."

Sunday's game at St Mary's Stadium will be the final one of Giggs' brief spell in charge.

Louis van Gaal, the overwhelming favourite for the full-time position, said this week he would "love" to take charge at Old Trafford.

Giggs, who is scheduled to meet executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Friday, is no nearer to deciding what he will do next season.

"My stance is not any different to what it was last week," Giggs said. "Obviously there is huge speculation, but nothing has been announced yet and my job is to prepare the team for Southampton.

"I am sure there will be an announcement soon and maybe I can comment on it then, but at the moment it is just speculation and there is nothing I can say.

"Obviously it has been a difficult season for everyone and when the management situation gets sorted out then we can move on. Like I said, that will probably be in the next couple of weeks."

Giggs has won two games and lost one during his spell at the helm.

When asked whether he had enjoyed his time in charge, Giggs said: "I think it just depends what time of day you are asking that question!

"Sometimes you probably think I could do without it and other times it gives you so much pleasure.

"After the game last Saturday (when United lost to Sunderland) you probably think you could do without it, but you probably learn more from defeat and not doing so well just like when you are a player.

"I have enjoyed the whole experience and it has definitely helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career."

Giggs, who has no previous management experience, has never been considered as a candidate to replace David Moyes, who was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract.

The 40-year-old concedes he would be under a lot more pressure to deliver if he had been entrusted with the job on a full-time basis.

"There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can't really win anything," Giggs said.

"We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that.

"You get a little taste of the pressure you are put under with regards to picking teams and wanting to do your best."

United will only scrape into the Europa League on goal difference if they beat Saints and Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa.


From Belfast Telegraph