25/02/2012 07:32, Report by Adam Bostock
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De Laet rates Norwich

Championship to the Premier League. They know the system, it’s hard to play against, and they’ve just kept going. That’s just the winning mentality they have at the moment.

You couldn't play for Norwich at Old Trafford but what did you make of their performance – did they exceed expectations that day?
I think every team that comes to Old Trafford plays the game of their year. Everybody wants to beat United and I think that was the same with Norwich. They had their chances to go 1-0 up but in the end United’s experience and quality came out on top. Old Trafford is a big pitch and if you’ve got to run around after the ball for 90 minutes you’ll be very tired at the end. That’s why United score many goals at the end of the game because they keep the ball for 90 minutes and I think it was the same against Norwich. They kept the ball and quality came out on top.

Norwich had one great chance to score – will Anthony Pilkington be haunted by that miss even now?
Well, yes, but Pilkington is a good player and he has scored many goals now for Norwich in the Premier League. Obviously, you want to score against United at Old Trafford but you can’t let that do anything with your mind because if that follows you around, you’ll go one on one with the goalkeeper and think, ‘what do I have to do now?’ But he’s not that kind of player. He puts that out of his head and he goes on again.

You played with the Norwich players, you trained with them day in, day out. Has Sir Alex been pumping you for information ahead of Sunday’s game?
I think the people upstairs at Carrington [the coaches and analysts] look at the games and do their job, so they’ll have enough on Norwich to know what to do to win there on Sunday.

Norwich have only lost three league games at home this season, the same number that Chelsea have lost at Stamford Bridge. Why is Carrow Road a tough ground to visit?
Well, for a start, it’s far away – it’s four hours from Manchester by road, although United will fly to Norwich. Also, because there’s only one team in the neighbourhood, all the support goes to Norwich. Whereas in the Midlands there are seven or eight teams, there is only one over there so everybody supports them and they get behind the team really well.

More: Cleverley doubt for Norwich trip | Match preview | Podcast | Betting

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