Skip to main content

England have great players like Spain and France, insists Jones

England defender Phil Jones acknowledges the quality within the squads of upcoming opponents Spain and France but insists his own side also have great players to call upon.

The Manchester United centre-back will hope to feature as the Three Lions face Spain in Alicante on Friday and Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley on Tuesday.

Jones does not think England have received enough recognition for their results and performances since they disappointingly exited the World Cup at the group stage last year.

The 23-year-old understands the games against Spain and France represent a step up from England's opponents in Euro 2016 qualifying group – where they won all 10 games – but wants the ability of some of his own team-mates to be noticed as well.

Jones said: "We are under no illusions that we have to be at our best to beat the teams that will be put in front of us in the Euros, but these are good tests for us against Spain and France in the next week or so and we will see where we are after that.

"They are both great teams with great players - but so have we. We have been on a great run since we have been beaten by Uruguay [at the World Cup] but the tougher tests are here with France and Spain.

"It has been a satisfying year for England and a lot of people forget how well we have done since that Uruguay game.

"They say that we have not had the better teams to play against or they have not been good or whatever, but we have to go out and beat what is put in front of us. Everyone has played a part and that has to be respected."

Jones knows it will take a strong defensive display as well as a clinical showing up front if England are to beat European champions Spain like they did at Wembley back in 2011 – a game which he started.

He continued: "We know that Spain like to keep possession of the ball but we have some fantastic players in this squad and whoever is picked will do a good job.

"The defence has done well this campaign and we have a strong defensive unit. We will try to keep that form going.

"It is important that we are organised but also we have to be ruthless as well. When we get chances we have to take them."