Danny Welbeck speaks to Inside United and ManUtd.com about his fine start to 2011/12...
Your start to the season must have been what you dreamed of having returned from Sunderland to fight for a first-team place?
Definitely. When the chance came along, I wasn’t going to sit back. Pre-season went really well, everyone got a few games under their belt and I just went out there against Barcelona and played my normal game. I didn’t really think ‘this is my chance’, I just played my normal game and, thankfully, the manager stuck with me for the first couple of matches of the season. I felt I’d really come into my own when I scored my first goal of the season against Tottenham. There’s no better feeling than scoring in front of the Stretford End. I aim to emulate that feeling so many more times.
Has it helped you having Tom Cleverley break through at the same time?
Yes. We’ve been playing with each other since we were little kids. Just to come through to the first-team is a big positive. We’re good friends on and off the pitch, we’ve got a good relationship. We’ve been at England Under-21s together and, if we’re rooming, it’s us two together. We are close friends and have got a good understanding on the pitch. He knows my game and I know his. He’s come up through the same Academy, with the same coaches and it’s great. The coaches take credit for everything. From the Under-9s coach Eddie Leach up to the Reserves with Warren Joyce – and Paul McGuinness with the Under-18s, who is a really good coach and probably taught us the main trade of our game.
How frustrating was it to get injured against Arsenal?
I was devastated to pull up like that, after getting a few starts under my belt in Premier League games and feeling really good. I got the scan done and, from then on, we knew what the problem was. I couldn’t sit back and moan. I had to get into training every single day and just follow the programme the physios put down for me. You’ve just got to make sure you come back as flying as you were before you got injured.