Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Friday August 6 2010
Big Sam Allardyce will be keeping a firm eye on defender Phil Jones this season - to keep the young man away from the clutches of burnout.
Jones was a star at the back end of last season and expectations will be high for the upcoming campaignbut Big Sam will rest Jones from time to time as he is wary of keeping Jones fresh.
Sam even uses Michael Owen as an example of what can happen when you thrust too much on a young player too soon.
Jones, speaking to Sky Sports said - 'Phil is 18 and you have to take into account the delicate state of his body, he has not matured into an adult yet.
'When you are playing in the top league in the world it can be a huge risk if he is overplayed.
'The perfect example is Michael Owen.Liverpool overplayed him at 18. All of a sudden he is riddled with hamstring injuries and despite only being 30 he is now struggling to recapture the form from when he was 21.
'We have to guard against that.'
Jones is in line to make his England Under 21 debut next Tuesday against Uzbekistan, marking a meteoric rise from reserve/youth player to the second top level in the game within 12 months.
But Allardyce is keen to keep close tabs on the young fledgling.
Sam continued - 'I will manage the situation the best way I possibly can, which really would be for the rest of the team to play at their best so I can give Phil a little rest here and there.
'It won't happen in the Under 21s because Stuart Pearce will want him most games, which is understandable.
'I don't want to put too much pressure on him because he might take a dip from last season.
'If he does that we will take him to one side until he is ready to come back in. We will not destroy his confidence.'
Date:Friday August 6 2010
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