Butt) and Smudge (Alan Smith), and I know Danny Guthrie from when he used to be United when he was 14. I’ve always stayed in contact with him since he left, so coming up here has been great. Everyone’s great. Even the lads I didn’t know made it very easy for me to settle in. Joey (Barton) is a top lad who always has a smile on his face, Andy Carroll, (Steve) Harper. The foreign lads are funny. Geremi, to be fair, give me tips every day and he’s helping me. He’s been at some of the best clubs in the world, so that’s unbelievable for me. It’s a good mix of lads.
How do you think Chris Hughton has done as caretaker manager?
Obviously he’s done really well. All the talk of different managers coming in can’t be easy for him, but he’s done well. He’s given me a chance to play and it’s been great. He’s spot on in training and his preparation for games is spot-on too, he’s getting all the background on the opposition. Some lads don’t know who they’re up against in this league, and Chris has made sure we’re prepared for each game.
What have you learned so far?
For me, the loan at Blackburn didn’t go too well. It’s just getting back into playing week in, week out, which I’ve missed. It wasn’t a nice, enjoyable time so it’s good to be back in action. There are a lot of quality players in this team who I’m always learning off, the likes of Nicky Butt, and the staff and how they approach games.
What do you think went wrong for you at Blackburn?
The first six months I played the first 12 out of 14 league games under Paul Ince. The team weren’t doing too well, but it was going well for me personally. Incey got sacked and Big Sam came in and it was just one of those things. People have their favourites and their ways of playing and my face didn’t fit when Sam came in. That’s part of football. I just got my head down, carried on training and saw the season out.