Phil Jones: Manchester United Were a 'Laughingstock' at the Start of the Season

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 10, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Phil Jones of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Phil Jones says the Red Devils were a "laughingstock" at the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season before turning around their form under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The club moved into fourth place in the table on Saturday after a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, and Jones was asked if being in the top four was a "psychological boost," per the Press Association (h/t BT Sport).

"Yeah, huge. Everyone's got to take us seriously now, you know? OK, we might have been a bit of a laughingstock maybe at the start of the season but certainly not now. We've proven that in the last 10 or 12 games. We're improving, still getting better."

Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager in December after a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool that left the Red Devils sixth in the Premier League.      

The club appointed Solskjaer on a temporary basis until the end of the season, and the former striker has guided the team to 10 wins and a draw in his 11 games in charge:

The Norwegian's success has seen him named the Premier League's manager of the month for January:

Solskjaer has revived the Manchester United attack and managed to bring out the best in key players such as Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford:

The 45-year-old will be named the club's next permanent manager, although United may not make an official announcement until the summer, according to Neil Custis at The Sun.

Meanwhile, Jones seems to be enjoying life under the Norwegian at Old Trafford. The defender has signed a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2023, per BBC Sport.

He also picked up a rare assist against Fulham:

Jones does appear to have work to do to play regularly at Manchester United. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have emerged as Solskjaer's first-choice centre-back pairing, leaving Jones as a back-up option.

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