Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Friday July 2 2010
Rovers young defensive prodigy Phil Jones is raring to go for the new campaign as the Ewood Park boys were the first EPL side back in training for the new season.
Jones is expecting a massive fight to the death (not literally, Samba would kill everyone) for starting places but the young man is determined to show everyone that he is not a flash in the pan.
Samba, Givet and Nelsen can all slot in the centre of defence but Jones wants to give them a run for their money.
Jones spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph and said - "It is not going to be easy for me now. No one has said it is going to be easy. We have top quality players in my position and they show that every day in training and matches.
"I know I have to fight for my position but I look forward to that and it is something I relish. I watched all the games at the World Cup and Ryan Nelsen was fantastic. He is a top defender though and a good lad as well.
"Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen are breaking records aren`t they for the money they were brought into the Premier League for? They are top quality defenders and very key players for us. Of course I have got a real job on my hands.
"Of course it is healthy competition though. I will keep training hard, keep working hard and whatever comes along I will take. Grant Hanley is another really good defender but competition is good all over at the moment."
Jones meteoric rise came as a massive surprise to the casual observer. He started the season as a relative unknown in the youth side and finished it being acclaimed for marking Drogba out of the game against Chelsea and several other accomplished performances in the derby against Burnley and against Man United.
But Jones is just pleased to be where he is and is enjoying himself.
Jones said: "I have had a nice break. I have been away with England, have been away with the family and then a few friends everyone is working really hard in training already and looking really fit.
"I feel really fit and raring to go for the start of the season. Obviously we had a programme we had to stick to and it looks like everyone has stuck to.
"It is different now than it was 12 months ago for me. It is a better position to be in for me and I am enjoying my time and looking forward to the start of the season."
Date:Friday July 2 2010
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