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Jones targets injury-free season

Phil Jones is hoping Manchester United's pre-season programme will help him have an injury-free year and enable him to become still more powerful.

• Blog: Back-room shake-up

The 21-year-old, tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson to become United's greatest ever player, missed the first three months of last season with back and knee problems, and the England international admits he has rarely been able to prepare properly for a season in his brief career.

United visit Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong in July and August, and Jones believes the tour will be vital for him.

"Definitely," he told Inside United. "That's important for me for the next season coming up. I think I've only had one pre-season and that was in my first season here so it's important I get a full pre-season under my belt. I need to get fitter and stronger and mentally prepare myself for what will be another tough season again."

The former Blackburn player, who made 24 appearances last season, is in the England squad to face Republic of Ireland and Brazil on May 29 and June 2 respectively and, now considered a member of the senior party, was not selected for the Under-21s, who will go to the European Championships in Israel.

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