Europe it’s magnified.
We welcome Rangers and Liverpool to Old Trafford in the space of five days. Is that prospect as exciting for you as it is for United fans?
Absolutely. It’s been a stuttering start to the season with the international breaks so it’s really pleasing to be involved in a big week like this one, with Everton, Rangers and then Liverpool in eight days. You can’t help but feel that we’re properly down to business now. And that’s pleasing – it’s what you want as a player. So far we’ve had a game a week, but to me it doesn’t really feel like the season’s kicked off properly until you’re playing midweek as well and the games are coming thick and fast.
How does preparation differ when you face a big week like this one?
The whole squad knows you have to be at the races and we’re all focussed on what needs to be done. So far this season there may have been some players who have been left out of teams or rested, but with so many big games in a short space of time you know you’re going to get a chance. It’s important you’re ready to take that opportunity.
You're almost 37: there must be aches and pains after matches these days…
I’m not too bad, actually. In fact, I’m probably better than I was a few years ago. I don’t run as fast or as far as I used to and I have this routine of doing yoga and taking ice baths – that seems to help and I feel quite good after games. The area where it’s probably changed is that I now struggle a bit to play Saturday, Wednesday and then the following Saturday again. I used to be able to do that without a problem but the energy levels after a game aren’t what they used to be. As for stiffness, though, it’s not really a problem.