Jones calls on Manchester United to use rally past Olympiakos as springboard

Van Persie's status for quarter-finals and remaining league matches unclear

Phil Jones, left, of Manchester United competes with Joel Campbell of Olympiakos during their Uefa Champions League round of 16 second-leg match at Old Trafford on March 19, 2014. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
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Manchester United defender Phil Jones hopes that his club's Uefa Champions League comeback against Olympiakos will revive the team's stuttering English Premier League campaign.

Faltering champions United will be 15 points adrift of the top four by the time they kick off against West Ham United tomorrow if Arsenal and Manchester City win their games earlier in the day.

But United will go into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 3-0 home win over Olympiakos on Wednesday that secured a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Greek side that took the English giants into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“The Olympiakos game has to be a springboard for us,” Jones said. “It was a huge night. We have to use this as an impetus to go and prove we can win game after game.

“We let ourselves down on Sunday, so it was good to get the win for us and the fans. They have something to smile about now and hopefully we can kick on.”

United's win was timely after a shock 2-0 loss in Greece and then the embarrassment of a 3-0 defeat by arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford last weekend that shone a harsh spotlight on manager David Moyes.

“We have all had criticism and we’re in it together,” England centre-back Jones said. “We’re a team, the manager and the staff, and we’ve got to band together and come through this difficult period, and we will do.”

United are in a Champions League last eight that also features Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and English rivals Chelsea.

Jones said United had no preference for their next opponents in the Champions League, the last trophy they can win this season.

“We’re just happy to be in the next round,” he said. “We left ourselves with a difficult task after the first leg, but we came through the test with flying colours and we are excited about the next round.”

The one downside in Wednesday’s win was hat-trick hero Robin van Persie being carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury.

Moyes said after the game that van Persie’s injury was “hopefully not too bad”.

Jones said: “Hopefully he will be fit for Saturday and he can score a few more goals. He is terrific. He pops up with important goals in big matches and he did that again.”

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