Phil Jones hails Manchester United youngsters Donald Love, James Weir and Ashley Fletcher

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One of Manchester United's first-team stars has been talking about a trio of young players currently featuring for the under-21s.

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has been speaking to the club’s official website following his return to action for the under-21s.

The England international has been out of action since suffering a muscle injury in the 4-2 victory against Manchester City.

With the 23-year-old missing, United have lost three matches in a row, to Chelsea, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, leaving their hopes of a top-four finish in a far more precarious position than it looked just a few short weeks ago.

Jones has managed only 21 appearances this season due to a series of setbacks but he was back in action when United’s under-21s took on Southampton on Monday evening.

Speaking after the 1-0 win, Jones said, “I’m happy to play in the under-21s and get some fitness.

“I feel I’m ready to go again and hopefully I can make the squad on Saturday.”

United’s next match is away to Crystal Palace and Louis van Gaal’s side must put their poor recent form behind them or risk allowing Liverpool to move to within a point of them with two games remaining.

Jones’ participation for United’s young side allowed him to get a close look at some of the talent hoping to break into van Gaal’s first-team further down the line, and the England international reserved special praise for three players.

“I think they have all done well but Donald Love did well at right-back, James Weir, too, and Fletch (Ashley Fletcher) up front was terrific,” Jones said.

Love is a 20-year-old defender, Weir is a 19-year-old central midfielder and Fletcher is a 19-year-old striker and they will know van Gaal gives youth a chance if the player in question is deemed good enough.

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