lot of our players, with the good feet they’ve got. You don’t even think about it but the skill Rene taught us comes to mind in games and you can see that in our play. I’m sure Rene is proud of us.
Is the new Under-21 league tougher?
There’ll be a few tough games as the league’s changed. I’m sure we’ll notice a few new things along the way. We’re more or less the same age, anyway, so it’s good for us. We’re used to playing teams like Bolton and Liverpool growing up, so it’s changed a bit. It does feel more professional going to different places. The longer away trips are good. It’s different, but exciting.
How is training under Warren Joyce?
Warren is tough but it’s good training with him. He’s not going to change his style for us after winning everything last season. There’s a winning mentality and he likes to push his team to see what we’ve got and that’s getting us ready for the first team, which is important. The team spirit is good in training, we’re all trying to push each other.
Have you trained with the first team much?
We get called up to train with them now and then, but I just focus on whatever the job is. Training with them is a step up, to play against the players we have got now – a big step up. But you’ve got to be ready for it when it comes. You’ve got to be on your game all the time.
Would you say you’re in the best place for learning your trade?
I’ve got to keep working hard. Playing in my position, I can learn from Patrice Evra. I look up to him. I look up to all the defenders and try to take little bits from them and put them into my game. I can play centre-back as well, so if there are injuries then I can fit in there too.
What are your immediate aims?
My aim is to play regular U21 football, do well and, hopefully, the next season after that, to push on.
This interview first appeared in Inside United , the official monthly magazine.