Striker Danny Welbeck joined Preston North End on loan last month. We caught up with the teenager to find out how he's settling into life at Deepdale and what it's like to work under the "other" Ferguson...
How are you enjoying life at Preston? You’ve played seven games now…
It’s going well and I’m really enjoying playing week-in, week-out. Actually, in the Championship you tend to play two games a week, so it’s been a great experience so far. Playing regular football was the big idea behind me going out on loan and it should help me progress as a player.
Do you get a sense that Preston are a club going places?
Absolutely. It’s a great club with a rich history and Darren Ferguson wants to take them back to the top flight. He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t think he could take Preston into the Premier League. He’s always looking for you to improve as a player and for the team to improve. Everybody here is the same – it’s an ambitious set-up.
So what are Preston’s targets this season?
Our main aim is to reach the play-offs. The players aren’t ready to settle for being a mid-table Championship side and neither is the manager. He wants to manage in the Premier League and he won't be happy with second best. He wants to take Preston forward.
What's more beneficial: playing regular football in the Championship, or training and being involved occasionally with United?
I’ve been involved with the first-team at United for a while now and I’ve been away on a few European trips. That's great experience but it reached a point where I was training a lot but not getting too many games. I felt I was doing well in training so the next step from there was to play competitive football on a regular basis, and I just couldn't do that at United. So it made sense to come to Preston and I’ve started every game since I arrived. I think this loan spell has been really beneficial and it will only get better.
Matty James has joined you at the club and he even scored on his debut. What does he bring to the team?
Matty’s a quality midfielder. You can give him the ball in more or less any situation and nine times out of 10 he’ll get out of it. I’ve played with Matty at United since we were 12 years old – we know each other's game inside out. If he gets the ball he already knows where I’m going to run, he knows where to pass the ball, he knows if I want it to feet or in behind. We’ve got a great understanding and I’m sure we’ll do well together.
What did Sir Alex say to you when he sent you on loan?
He was keen for me to be playing games regularly and he’s kept in touch a lot. He’s sent me texts before games and called a few times as well. He’s given me feedback on what I’ve done well and also told me where I can improve.
Did he get in touch after your first goal? People were comparing it to Eric Cantona’s famous chip against