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"Phil doesn't need to be worried. Anyway, I think he benefits from it in the end. He's so young he can benefit from being versatile and he can learn from playing a little bit everywhere."

30/05/2013 09:43, Report by Adam Marshall
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Johnsen reassures Jones

Ronny Johnsen has told Phil Jones not to be concerned that his versatility could end up being a handicap to his long-term career.

Jones came on as a substitute for England in the 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday and filled in at right-back but was also used in midfield and the centre of defence, his favoured position, by the champions last term.

England coach Roy Hodgson and retiring United chief Sir Alex Ferguson have both stressed that they feel the 21-year-old will mature into a top-class centre-back and Johnsen, who also switched roles regularly during his successful time at Old Trafford, feels there is no problem with being a utility man - particularly at his tender age.

Speaking ahead of his involvement in the Red Heart United Legends clash against Real Madrid on Sunday, which still has tickets available, the Norwegian had words of reassurance for Jones.

"The gaffer used to like me me playing in midfield, especially when 'Keano' [Roy Keane] was out with injury," he told ManUtd.com. "But I played in defence, at the back, a lot and enjoyed it. It's actually more common now [performing both roles].

"Phil doesn't need to be worried. Anyway, I think he benefits from it in the end. He's so young he can benefit from being versatile and he can learn from playing a little bit everywhere. 

"I played centre-forward in the national team when I was 25 but was then, more or less, just a defensive player. You learn a little bit from every position you play in so it's something that you can only benefit from. He is obviously so young and has got so many years ahead of him that it is all good for his career."

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