Former midfield star Nicky Butt gave United Review his thoughts on the Reds ...
How big a wrench was it to leave United?
It was the hardest thing I had to do in football as I'd been there since I was 12 years of age. But it came to a time when you're getting up to 30, it was just around the corner, and I wasn't playing a lot or as much as I wanted to or felt I should've been. I was going down the pecking order. Although I didn't really want to leave, I wanted to play football and didn't want to sit on the bench for three or four years and just fizzle out really. I wanted to have one more kick at it. I knew Newcastle were in for me and I was desperate to go there really. I'd played against them and I knew they were a great club with a great atmosphere so I was more than happy to go there.
It must be hard for all players to handle squad rotation..
It is difficult. To be fair, all my career I had good players in front of me - Scholes, Keaney, Veron - and we were all fighting for two spots in midfield. But, all my career, I used to get over 30 games every year. I played in all the big games as people were injured or we played three in midfield. I always played in the big semi-finals and finals and I loved every minute there. But it got to a point where I was getting a bit frustrated and wasn't myself. I wasn't getting angry but I was resenting people and I didn't want to end up being bitter and twisted. So I went to speak with the manager and he was great. He understood my position and understood the most important thing was the club and rightly so. It was a nervous thing to do, going to speak to the manager about leaving the club as I'd been there so long, but it was fine. He was brilliant and asked if I was sure what I wanted to do as he didn't want me to make any rash judgements. So he said think about it for a couple of days and, when I did that, my mind hadn't changed. I still wanted to play football.
Although it was the most difficult thing I had to do, I was happy to go to Newcastle.
How do United approach games that they're expected to win?
I think any game in the Premier League is tough, regardless of who it is against. In years gone by, when I think we'd walk out at Old