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Phil: Ready to pounce on Sunderland

London: Manchester United defender Phil Jones feels his team has enough resources to bounce back, against Sunderland, on Sunday.

United had lost their opening fixture against Swansea last week. Following the defeat, coach Louis van Gaal had said his side’s confidence was smashed. Jones, though, believes the early setback was a wake-up call and helped the team to unite.

“As you might expect, I was disappointed after our opening-day defeat to Swansea and it’s fair to say my Saturday night wasn’t too adventurous. I just put my feet up, thought about the game and tried to sleep. I am obviously a bad loser and I don’t think my girlfriend wants to talk to me much when we’ve lost,” Jones told Manchester United’s official website.

Speaking further, he said: “I was still thinking about the game on Sunday and evaluating how we can improve.

“While it can be difficult to take defeats, it is a learning curve and a part of life. Monday was a fresh start for everybody and we immediately started preparing for the next game. “We were all frustrated in the dressing room but ready to move on. We wanted to prepare properly for Sunderland and that’s exactly what we’ve done. We are ready to pounce on Sunderland.

“Without any midweek fixtures to contend with, we’ve had a full week to focus on Sunday and that has definitely helped us.

“The manager has been brilliant as well; he’s been really positive. We all have to pull in the right direction, especially as we are still learning a new system. It is what we believe in and we need to implement it.

“We have played a lot of 11 versus 11 matches in training and they are really useful because of the stop-start nature of the exercise. They also teach you where you should be on the pitch, which is obviously really important.”

Van Gaal also spoke about the process. “In football, it always depends on the result. But I know it’s not like that. It depends on the process, with the information at the end — we shall improve.

“I don’t believe only in experienced players, because you have to fit in the profile of the system. I’m here not because I’m a very nice person. I’m here because of my philosophy.

“I want my players to perform that philosophy. And I know which players are fitting in my philosophy.”

Meanwhile Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet heaped praise on Van Gaal. “He’s very intelligent and he knows the game,” the Sunderland head coach said.

(Agencies)