EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

04/10/2011 11:00, Report by G Thompson, A Marshall
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Canaries to Carrington

to talk through a new one. I heard a couple of whispers about United and a few other teams who showed an interest in me and it soon became obvious that Norwich were willing to let me go. I talked to a couple of other clubs, but when I met the manager here I just had a good feeling about the place and it felt like an opportunity I had to take.

What do you remember about your debut season in 1989/90, which ended with the manager’s first trophy. Did it feel like the start of something big?
I admit I never really understood what United were all about until I came here. It’s like nowhere else. You’re in this pressure cooker that you don’t realise is there until you start playing for the club. You’re scrutinised week in, week out but you have to learn to deal with it and you have to perform. There’s no question it was a hard year – when you first join a club people judge you every day and you’ve got to win. We started off like a house on fire in the first game against Arsenal and then dipped after that. We managed to turn things around by winning the FA Cup and that was definitely a big moment. When you win something here, you win it well, and you want to do it again and again because it’s such a great feeling.

You were involved in all but one of the games, including the final, during the famous European Cup Winners’ Cup run in ’91 – how was special was that?
There was just a really good feeling about that competition from day one and it’s fair to say the draw was quite kind to us. Playing in Europe was something that was brand new to me and it was an education. As players you always want to progress and that European experience allowed us to do that. To finish up winning the trophy was a real achievement for everyone.

Where does winning the league in ’93 and ending the club’s 26-year wait rank in your career?
It felt terrific. At the time you don’t really know what you’ve achieved because you’re so focused on doing it. Looking back now you wonder if that might have been the catalyst [for everything that followed]… and the reason why players began to fulfil their potential and help the club grow.

You left Old Trafford a year later and soon went into coaching – back at Carrow Road…
Leaving United is a hard thing to do but coaching was something I’d always fancied. I enjoyed my three months at Norwich with the Reserves, but it was a bit of a turbulent time at the club and after Gary Megson

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