Gabriel Obertan is among an emerging crop of youngsters with the talent and purpose to shape United for years to come. And he's keen to prove it...
You’ve had more opportunities in the first team this season. Are you pleased with how it’s going?
I am because I’ve worked hard since the summer. I was injured in pre-season but now I feel really good. I’ve worked in training and I’m seeing the results on the pitch. Last year I was in the Reserves more, and it was a case of adapting to the English game and life in England, and getting over injuries. It was frustrating at times, but I learnt a lot, with Ole Solskjaer and Warren Joyce giving me good advice.
Did not being regularly involved in the first team make you more determined to get there?
That’s exactly right. Without being disrespectful, it was tough in the Reserves because my target has always been to play in the first team. When I look back, it makes me work even harder to get in the team more often.
You’re physically much stronger this season…
After pre-season I got injured and I wanted to make the most of my absence. I worked really hard in the gym because it’s a really important attribute to be physical in the English league. I had six weeks away from the pitch and I wanted to get some benefit out of it. Now I feel stronger, I can handle myself much better. My legs feel stronger, I feel faster, everything seems to be coming together. It definitely helped.
What else have you learnt at United?
The biggest improvement I’ve made is on the mental side. It was frustrating at times in my first year if I was out injured, unable to train or in the Reserves. There were lots of obstacles and it can be easy to let that get you down if you aren’t mentally strong. I’ve progressed a lot in that sense. Now I approach disappointments with a much more positive attitude. The game against West Ham is a good example.