The Liverpool and Chelsea midfields seem to be far more heavily praised by the press than United’s. Do you feel the Reds’ midfield is underrated?
We heard it all summer from different people, ‘United’s midfield is this, United’s midfield is that’. That’s fine. It doesn’t bother us, we know what we’re capable of doing and I know how good these players are. We probably have more central midfielders than any other position at the club, and there’s so much ability to choose from. Maybe at the other clubs they have their set midfielders who turn out for the team most weeks, but we have six or more who can play. But I think that’s to our advantage. We have more strength in depth than the other top teams and, in my opinion, definitely just as much ability. It may be that we don’t receive as much limelight as the midfielders at other clubs, but we’re league champions. I know which I’d take given the choice! It’s all about the medals you have won come the end of your career. Ryan Giggs is the inspiration for a lot of players in this team. You want to be recognised as a good player, but also you want to look back on your career and feel proud of what you achieved. If we go unnoticed all season and win the league you won’t hear any of us complaining.
Does Giggsy inspire you to keep striving to improve, rather than settle for what you have done so far?
If I look at what I’ve achieved, then at what Giggsy has done, he blows me out of the water [laughs]. It makes you think: “Yes, I’ve achieved quite a bit, but there’s still so much more I can do.” So many of the lads have such great respect for Giggsy. You hear some of them talking in the dressing room, saying ‘What would you give to have done everything he has in the game?’ He’s the inspiration for players such as Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, John O’Shea, Wes Brown... we all want to get to that level and achieve as much as he has done. I’m not saying we will, but he is the benchmark. He sets the standard.
Does having someone who’s achieved so much prevent any complacency among the players?
Yes, it does. Avoiding complacency is a trait of the club – from