Having tasted success in the domestic cup competitions and scoring that goal against Stoke in the league last term, young striker Danny Welbeck is keen to kick on this year…
You made your United debut in the Carling Cup last year, then shortly after that scored that stunning goal on your league debut against Stoke. What do you remember about that day?
I’d been travelling with the first-team squad for a while by that time and playing in the Carling Cup was a great experience. I’d been included in the matchday squad for league games before, but I’d not been named on the bench. So when I got told I was a substitute for the Stoke game I was really pleased, I couldn’t wait to hopefully get my chance to come on.
So when you were stood on the sidelines, what was going through your mind?
We were 3-0 up against Stoke and I got told to get ready, I was going on for the last half an hour. I remember being stood next to Darron Gibson, who was also coming on at the same time. I was so over the moon and I just started to think about it; I’m going to be playing in front of a massive crowd, shooting towards the Stretford End and in front of millions of fans watching on TV. Obviously it was nerve-wracking, but I quickly just tried to drown everything else out and focus on my game, concentrating on trying to play to the best of my ability.
Talk us through your goal, and your celebration…
[Laughs] I’ll talk you through the goal, but not the celebration! I remember Berba picked up the ball deep in midfield. I came short to drop off the defender and receive the pass. I knew the defender was coming up behind me – and I knew that it was [Ryan] Shawcross, who I’d played with in the youth team at United – so I played a one-two with Manucho and from then on I just hit it. I can’t describe it any other way, I just hit it. Why not take a shot in that situation? It’s your league debut and your team is already winning 3-0. So that’s what I did, I had nothing to lose and it just went straight into the top corner.
And what were the first-team lads like with you after that moment?
I was buzzing but they all just tried to keep me level-headed. That’s what they’ve always tried to do because I’ve not really done anything in my career yet, I’ve not achieved anything really. The players here are great because they’re always keen to give advice and pointers on how to improve as a