Phil Jones hopes to continue Chris Smalling partnership at Manchester United

Manchester United's Phil Jones hopes that he and Chris Smalling will be given the opportunity to build a strong centre-back partnership at Old Trafford next season.

Manchester United defender Phil Jones hopes that he and fellow Englishman Chris Smalling will be given the opportunity to build a strong centre-back partnership at Old Trafford next season.

Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are both set to leave the Red Devils this summer, and United boss David Moyes is therefore expected to delve into the transfer market for reinforcements.

However, Jones believes that, with he, Smalling and Jonny Evans in the squad, the Red Devils' backline is already in good shape.

Jones told reporters: "I've played with Chris for three or four years in the England Under-21s and also United, and we have a really good understanding.

"We complement each other well and when you look at other central-defender partnerships and how they grow and build, they get better by playing together.

"You make mistakes along the way, everyone does, but the more you play together and understand each other the better the partnership gets. Hopefully that can happen and hopefully we have shown the manager that we are ready for the challenge."

United have kept 12 clean sheets in 33 Premier League games this season.

Michael Owen celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Wolfsburg on December 08, 2009.
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