United's 11-game winning run in the league ended with successive losses in March. Was that a tough time?
It’s true we had a difficult period, losing to Liverpool and Fulham. But when you arrive at a club you make a commitment to be there throughout the good times and the bad times. In a way, the dip in form was almost a positive because it gave us the opportunity to face up to the problem and tackle it head-on. You need challenges in life – they help you realise just how tough you are and often bring out a lot of very good qualities. It’s important you bounce back from disappointment.
The team did that with victories over Aston Villa and Sunderland, helped largely by goals from Federico Macheda. Do you have any advice for the teenager?
Well, Federico has done tremendously and he’s very lucky to be playing for Manchester United at such a young age. I’d tell him to enjoy every minute of his time on the pitch. That’s the main thing: you have to love what you do. He’s definitely good enough to play at the highest level. He’s a big, strong lad who’s also very skilful. That’s a good combination and I’m confident he has what it takes to make it to the top.
It’s inevitable there’ll be tired legs at this stage of the season. Are you confident you and your team-mates can make it over the line?
You’re right: it’s natural. After all, we play a lot of games and do a lot of travelling. We all know the games will get tougher as the season wears on. Also, when other players line up against Manchester United they put their life on the line, they put absolutely everything into trying to beat us. We always know