PHIL Jones is glad to be on the same side as Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez rather than having to try and stop them.
One of the happy by-products of moving from Blackburn to Manchester United in the summer is that he is no longer at risk of suffering the kind of mauling he experienced for himself at Old Trafford last season.
United have already gone one better than that seven-goal spectacular in their destruction of Arsenal. Yesterday it was Bolton's turn to feel the pain, sliding to a 5-0 defeat as the Red Devils completed the best start to a season since the Premier League was formed in 1992.
Rooney scored his second consecutive hat-trick and Hernandez bagged the other two as Sir Alex Ferguson's most potent strikeforce was reunited once more.
"It is impossible to defend against Wayne and Javier at times," said the 19-year-old.
"Their movement is phenomenal. It is a struggle for defenders to cope with it."
At the start of a season that is already being written up as a straight shoot-out between the red and blue halves of Manchester, Rooney's scoring record stands out.
It was his seventh treble, the same number as Sir Bobby Charlton.
The 25-year-old also become the first United player to score back-to-back league hat-tricks since Alex Dawson in 1960.
His eight Premier League goals this term mean that he has netted more on his own than every team aside from his own and Manchester City, and is only three adrift of his entire total from last season.
Indeed, it is difficult to believe 12 months ago he was in the middle of a desperate run of form and some wondered whether his talent had disappeared forever.
"Last season he had some problems but now Wayne is back," said Patrice Evra.
"Now he wants to show what a top player he is.
"He is a great professional and wants to be the best in the world.
"He just has to keep doing what he is doing. I will be very happy if he keeps scoring and we win the league."
Jones would have denied Rooney his milestone had he managed to find the finishing touch to a mesmerising run, which merely emphasised the talent which is destined to take him right to the very top of the game.
"It would have been a wonder goal," said the Chorley-born youngster.
"Wayne asked me in the changing room afterwards why I hadn't pulled it back but I have not scored in the Premier League before."
It surely will not be long before that statistic changes given the ease with which Jones has adapted to life at Old Trafford.
He stepped into the hole left on the opening day at West Brom when Nemanja Vidic limped off with a calf problem that continues to keep him out and yesterday moved seamlessly into the right-back role as Sir Alex Ferguson gave Chris Smalling a rest.
"I didn't expect to be playing so often quite so quickly but that is football," said Jones.
"When you get your chance you have to take it. Hopefully I have shown the manager what I can do.
"I definitely feel I have improved since joining United. How quickly they move the ball is different class.
"Having the opportunity to play with this kind of team-mate is bound to make me better."
Not that Sir Alex Ferguson was entirely happy. He was critical of the tackle by Bolton skipper Kevin Davies which left Tom Cleverley with a damaged ligaments in his foot.
Cleverley is likely to be sidelined for four weeks, although that is better than the forecast of three months when it was feared he had broken bones.
Jonny Evans is also a doubt for Wednesday's Champions League opener with Benfica after suffering a hip injury, although Evra should make it despite taking a bang on the knee.
"Some people are already saying the league looks like a competition between ourselves and City, and are asking when the derby is," said the France defender.
"But I don't forget Chelsea or Liverpool. They will be there as well.
"The most important thing is to focus on Benfica - and then Chelsea next Sunday."