(Reuters) – Manchester United defender Phil Jones remembers his team’s title meltdown six years ago and believes rivals Manchester City’s 12-point lead in the Premier League title race can still be overhauled.
United closed the gap on City with Monday’s 3-0 victory over Stoke after leaders Pep Guardiola’s City suffered their first loss of the league campaign against Liverpool at Anfield.
In Jones’ first campaign at Old Trafford, Alex Ferguson’s United were eight points ahead of City in April with six games to go, only to see the title end up across town on the final day when Sergio Aguero scored late on against Queens Park Rangers.
“Football’s football, never say never,” Jones told the British media.
“I remember in my first season (2011-12) we were eight points clear, absolutely cruising, (everyone thought there was) no way we’d let the lead slip, and we lost it on the final day.
“People can say what they want but we’ll continue to be positive and push forward. You never know. It happened in 2012 to us so why not?”
Jose Mourinho has faced criticism for United’s more conservative approach against the top teams this season, including their 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October.
Jones, however, is satisfied with the manager’s tactical plans and believes the results prove the club are on the right track.
“People will criticise, people will have their own comments, views, but we don’t care too much about that to be honest,” Jones added.
“We do what we do best, we set up the way the manager wants us to play and it works. We’re doing well, we need to keep going. It’s another big game on Saturday against Burnley.”
United visit Burnley, who secured a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture last month.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)