Premier League: Phil Jones insists Manchester United remain one of the top teams
Phil Jones insists Manchester United's position in the Premier League table does not reflect the strength of the team.
Last Updated: 22/01/14 9:06pm
United have largely been written off as Premier League title contenders following their 3-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, which left them 14 points off the top.
Even United skipper Nemanja Vidic believes that is too big a difference to make up, but Jones insists that despite the gap United remain one of the top teams.
United were excellent in the first half at Stamford Bridge, but Samuel Eto's second goal of his hat-trick, just before half-time, turned the game decisively Chelsea's way.
"I don't think we're a long way away from the teams at the top," Jones told manutd.com.
"If Chelsea are one of the best two or three teams in the country, then I think you have to say we can be right up there alongside them - our performance in the first half proves that.
"We're not a million miles away, I'm telling you, but we need to stick together if we're going to turn it around.
"We started really well. I thought in the first 30 minutes we were terrific. We set out and started in exactly the way we spoke about beforehand.
"We took the game to Chelsea, they couldn't get out of their own half and we totally dominated the match from the first whistle.
"We just couldn't find the goal that we probably needed to kick on from there. Then they had a bit of luck for the first goal and we conceded a couple of sloppy ones. Conceding just before half-time never helps.
"Now we have to bounce back and we have an important game on Wednesday night."
United trail Sunderland 2-1 entering the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at Old Trafford and will be without Vidic, who will serve a three-match ban following his red card at Chelsea.
Michael Carrick echoed Jones' sentiments in an interview with MUTV, as he said: "We just keep going. We don't want to write anything off at this stage. It is not a position we are used to or accustomed to.
"We never give up. We will keep fighting. That is what we do. We still believe. We have to try and win as many games as we can and see where it takes us."