EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

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

Norwich’s first target was to stay in the top flight and currently they're 14 points clear of relegation. They have done very well, haven’t they?
Yes, they have done. One of the things about them is there are no big, big players at Norwich. They know where they have come from, some of them came from League One all the way up to the Premier League with Norwich and with the same manager. So they know what the manager expects of them now as well. They just play the system they got promoted with from League One to the Championship and from the 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.

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