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Fergie backs Jones's tackling

21 February 2013-PA Sport

Alex Ferguson has no intention of asking Phil Jones to change his all-action tackling style.

The Manchester United player faces a battle against the odds to be fit for the Champions League encounter with Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5 after injuring his ankle against Reading earlier this week.

Former United captain Bryan Robson is the latest to question why Jones tried to block Jobi McAnuff with the outside of his foot, which left him in obvious pain.

It is not the first time Jones's technique has been questioned during a difficult 12 months when the youngster has suffered a succession of problems.

However, as Ferguson sees elements of Robson's own play in Jones's game, the United manager sees little point trying to change the approach.

"He tackled awkwardly," said Ferguson.

"But you can't measure a person by a tackle.

"He has the courage and willingness to tackle. Bryan Robson was exactly the same.

"Bryan couldn't see danger and neither can Phil.

"That is a lot to do with the courage they have. You are not going to take that out of them. I wouldn't even attempt that."

Nevertheless, Jones is now a major doubt for that return meeting with Madrid, having done so much to subdue Cristiano Ronaldo in particular during last week's first leg.

"He did an incredible job against Real Madrid," said Ferguson.

"The great thing Phil has got is that he doesn't care who he is playing against.

"There is no fear about playing against anyone.

"We will have to wait and see. It is two weeks away and a lot can happen in that time.

"He has an outside chance, but no more than that."

Jones will certainly miss this weekend's trip to Queens Park Rangers but Ferguson reported everyone else has come through Monday's encounter without a problem.

The Scot repeated his mantra that, with United 12 points clear of Manchester City with 12 games remaining, destiny is very much in its own hands.

"The only way we can approach it is by taking care of each game and eventually we run out of matches," said Ferguson.

"I can understand from Manchester City's point of view why they are talking about us dropping points.

"But the fact of the matter is they will drop them as well."

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