16/08/2013 07:53, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Title closer than ever

What shape would you say this squad is in ahead of the season and is there extra determination to impress and do well under a new manager?
Definitely. When a new manager comes I think everyone wants to impress, but the challenge is always there when you’re at United, whether you’re attempting to win the league back or defending it. We know the standards we have to reach and we’re determined to reach them. We know it will be hard and a long fight, but we’re ready for it and hopefully we can win it again.

What will winning the title for the first time last term have done for young players like Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and David De Gea?
I know from personal experience how much it helped me and it will definitely help them a lot. It gives you that confidence to know you can do it and also come through the tricky situations you face during the season. You’ve got that experience to fall back on and as long as you keep that desire and that hunger you’ll be okay. You need to have that drive to do it again and again – that’s what this club is all about.

Which is the more potent weapon for a footballer – the hunger of youth or the know-how that comes with experience?
Both really. It’s something that we’ve always had a good balance of at United. You’ve got those players who have won trophies before and you have that hunger to win more and to keep improving both personally and as a team. We’ve got some really good characters in the team who have great experience – Rio, Nemanja, Patrice, Wayne, Michael and we’ve also got some very talented and determined young lads. So there is a good mix. That’s something we’ve always had and will no doubt continue to have.

What is the number one priority for United this season – is a trophy a must in David Moyes’ first season?
I don’t think you can say we have to win this or we have to win that. All you can do is perform to the best of your ability and if it’s not good enough it’s not good enough. It’s under-performing that people won’t put

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