Jones: Mourinho instilled fighting spirt

Cape Town - Manchester United defender Phil Jones believes manager Jose Mourinho has transformed the character of the Premier League side this season.

Despite not reaching the usual heights of the Sir Alex Ferguson era, which the Red Devils faithful have been accustomed to over the past two decades. United have been a more resolute outfit under Mourinho, than has two predecessors - David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

The quarter-final defeat to Chelsea this month has tainted what's been a rather successful campaign thus far at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils in the quarter-final of the Europa League, EFL Cup champions - while also in the race for a top four finish after a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Jones feels their displays across all competitions this season is down to the resilience the former Chelsea head coach has instilled in the side, while also discussing the frustrations of being in sixth place for the past few months.

"When we have dropped points so has everyone else and when we have won so has everyone else, so that is why we've been in same position for so long," he told Mirror Sport. "But for us it does not matter. We just concentrate on every game and we are up to fifth now.

"It shows the fight in the squad - not literally - but it shows we are prepared to fight for each other. You cannot buy that. It is in everyone. It rubs off on us from the manager. It is all about a willingness to win and fight for each other. 

"Whatever formation we play or the tactics we play, ultimately it is about the fight in every player and we are showing that at the moment," the England defender added.

"It has been a transition period, as everyone knows, but I do not think you can call anyone for a lack of fight playing football. 

"Everybody goes out to do their absolute utmost to do their best for the manager, the team and themselves, but it was not to be in previous years. 

"But you can see this season we have had times when we have had to dig deep. There is a lot of fight in that dressing-room and it is positive."