really tested the squad to the limit. I think if we get everyone back then we’ll have a great chance of winning every competition that we’re in. You need a little bit of luck to win things in a season, but overall most teams could do better. We’re up there and we’re in a good position.
You mention inconsistency; is that to be expected given the number of experienced players who left the club last summer?
Yeah, I think so. We lost a lot of experience with Wes [Brown], Sheasy, Edwin [van der Sar], Nev, Scholesy as well [laughs]. Plus the young players coming in – new players need time to bed in. To be honest the likes of David [De Gea], Ashley [Young] and Phil [Jones] have all done well this season, as has Danny Welbeck coming back from Sunderland – he’s been in great form as well. But overall, yeah, the inconsistency could be down to the experience we’ve lost.
Scholesy’s comeback took a lot of people by surprise; you know him better than most – were you aware he was missing playing?
I chatted with him all the time because he was here. I’d just ask him how the coaching was going, because I was doing my ‘A’ licence at the same time. Personally, I thought he’d retired too early – and a lot of people did. Scholesy probably thought he’d made up his mind and when you’ve done that you can’t really change it, but you were seeing him still around the place and training. You’d speak to the Reserves and he was still the best in training with them, so he still obviously felt he could do it. Nobody was going to disagree with that, and I think it was a massive boost for everyone before the City game.
What will he add to the squad for the run-in?
So much – the experience he’s got, the qualities he’s when these young players are either injured, aren’t playing, or have lost form. That’s when, really, you need to help them. When they’re flying, you just let them get on with it, but if you see them losing confidence or maybe looking a bit down if they think they’ve not played well, that’s when you help them. That’s when your experience comes in because we’ve all been there. When I was younger I looked up to the likes of Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce, who helped me a lot.
How do you impart your experience and how can you tell when support is needed?
It’s just something that you can see. It’s that next tier from the coaching staff to the dressing room – there are things that you see first-hand. It’s especially