Inside United sat down for a chat with Under-21 goalkeeper Sam Johnstone..
How are you finding the Under-21 league?
It’s good to play other teams that we never played growing up. We kept playing the local sides like Bolton and Liverpool so it is good that we’re playing southern teams too.
You have been on the bench several times for the first team this season..
Yes and it’s been really good experience just being around the lads. It’s funny because, when you’re not around them, you do get a bit star-struck and are not as comfortable with them. When you’re around them regularly, you get to know them and talk and everyone gets on really well.
Has going on the last couple of tours helped in that respect?
Of course but I think the biggest experience for me was the derby against Manchester City. That was really good – a great game – and I was able to celebrate from the bench!
Have you been pleased with your season in general?
I think the main thing was getting regular games for the Under-21s as I think, for a keeper, you need regular game-time. Ben Amos is back from Hull City and it’s a case of trying to keep everyone happy.
You’ve been away on loan before. How did you find the spell at Scunthorpe?
It was good as it helped me a lot. It was a difficult time when I was there as they were fighting relegation and hovering around the drop-zone. It was a good team but they just couldn’t get the results. It helped me to grow up from a little boy and into a man so it was all about maturing. You have to do everything for yourself and it was different.
Is it difficult being a young goalkeeper after tasting first-team football?
Well, there are a lot of young keepers around at the moment. You just need someone to put their trust in you and then it’s up to you to take the opportunity.