England captain John Terry won't give up place without a fight

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Sofia
Micah Richards, Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley
Jones (centre) has made a big impact since joining Manchester United

England captain John Terry has admitted he is looking over his shoulder following the rapid emergence of Manchester United teenager Phil Jones - but warned he will not sacrifice his place without a fight.

Jones has been outstanding since his £16m move to Old Trafford from Blackburn Rovers this summer and has impressed with England this week ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.

The 19-year-old has partnered Terry in central defence in some of England's training sessions and coach Fabio Capello has been giving serious consideration to playing the youngster and his 21-year-old United team-mate Chris Smalling against Bulgaria.

Bolton's Gary Cahill may yet get the consolation of missing out on moves to Arsenal and Tottenham by winning a fourth cap - and he partnered Terry in training on Thursday - but Jones has made a big impression on Terry, Capello and the rest of the England camp this week.

Capello is yet to finalise his line-up, with Aston Villa striker Darren Bent missing training at the Vasil Levski Stadium here on Thursday with a groin injury, but it is clear he is convinced Jones and Smalling have the potential to establish lengthy England careers.

And Terry admits the powerful Jones has his eyes on his place, but insisted he is ready to continue his England career even if he is eventually overtaken by the youngster - who is widely tipped to captain his country - and has to settle for a place as a squad player.

"Jones is the one that really sticks out in our position and he's one I'm looking over my shoulder at because clearly he wants a place in the England side, whether that is at the expense of myself or somebody else," said Terry. "He's very hungry for that.

"I wouldn't say the older players are concerned or worried for our places but we're looking over our shoulders. I'm fortunate enough to have the shirt and it's down to me to keep it and that's the target for me.

"I'm not going to give it up lightly and we've seen the more experienced players really keen to go on and do well in the tournaments whether it is their last one or not. They are not going to give it up. They are going to continue right until the end.

"I can only speak for myself but I'm certainly in it with England for the long haul, whether I'm a bit part player in the future or not and whether that is in a year, two years or even now.

"I know the young guys behind are pushing and really want my place, but I can still learn from them even though I have a lot more experience than them."