By 90Min
January 17, 2018

It appears that Manchester United defender Phil Jones is an eternal optimist and has not given up hope for an unlikely title triumph this season. The England international has taken inspiration from fiercest rivals Manchester City when they overcame an eight-point deficit and snatched the title from the Old Trafford club on a theatrical final day of the 2011-12 campaign. 

City have been in imperious form, playing a scintillating brand of football while creating new domestic records. They suffered their first league defeat on Sunday during the captivating 4-3 reverse to Liverpool at Anfield. Nevertheless, many believe this to be a meagre blemish as the Citizen's juggernaut continues at a relentless pace to the Premier League title. 

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United's comfortable 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Monday night closed the gap for Jose Mourinho's side to 12 points and Jones firmly believes the lead is not impossible to overhaul. 

Speaking to Four Four Two magazine the versatile defender said: "Football is football, never say never. I remember in my first season we were eight points clear, absolutely cruising, 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?

"We're doing well, we need to keep going. It was a big, big game for us on Monday with points to be played for and teams dropping points around us."

It is a credit to Jones that he has this positive outlook, United won't just have to deal with the challenges on the pitch, but those in the mind too if they to capture the title. 

Their pursuit of City continues this Saturday away to Sean Dyche's Burnley which will be testing encounter, although these are the types of challenges that 'champions elect' deal with proficiently. 

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