Manchester United's Phil Jones says he owes a lot to Everton manager Sam Allardyce
By Alys Bowen
Last Updated: 01/01/18 4:34pm
Phil Jones says he will be forever grateful to his former manager Sam Allardyce, as Manchester United prepare to face his Everton side on New Year's Day, live on Sky Sports.
Jones played under Allardyce at Blackburn between 2009 and 2011, having progressed from the youth squad to making his full Premier League debut for Rovers against Chelsea as an 18-year-old in March 2010.
Allardyce took charge at Everton in November, and they begin 2018 by playing host to United at Goodison having seen their unbeaten run come to an end at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Ahead of the game, Jones exclusively told Sky Sports: "He [Allardyce] was the one who gave me the chance in the Premier League and gave me my debut and wasn't afraid to put me in, albeit there was no one left.
"I owe him a lot of thanks for that. I will be forever grateful.
"As a young player, you need as much support as possible and he gave me that and gave me the chance."
Allardyce replaced Ronald Koeman as Everton manager two months ago with the club sat in the bottom half of the table, but the 63-year-old has since secured four wins and three draws to move the Toffees up to ninth place.
"He's good at what he does, he gets results," said Jones."With the situation that Everton were in, they needed results and he got that.
"People might not like the style of football he plays and may have moans and groans about it, but ultimately he gets results."
United were recently knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Championship side Bristol City and have slipped 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
United's struggles have continued with draws against Leicester, Burnley and Southampton over the festive period, and Jones says the Red Devils must maintain their focus.
"We've had a few blips in games where we should have won, but we need to keep going," he added.
"We've got another few busy games coming up so we need to make sure we're prepared and ready for them.
"I enjoy [this time of year] because there are a lot of games and ultimately I enjoy playing football! It is tough on the legs but we are used to it."