Warren has gone on record as saying you were the best player of your age in the country when you picked up the injury…
That means a lot. It's a very nice compliment. I remember at the time I felt like I was playing well, had lots of games and was scoring goals. I was hoping to push on from there but these things happen. I have had to learn the hard way.
Alan Shearer had two cruciate knee ligament injuries. Roy Keane was sidelined with one. Both bounced back to be the best players in the Premier League…
That's the thing. Once you have a serious injury, you look into it a lot more and realise many of the top-class players have had setbacks, come through it and managed to return to the same level. I feel good physically and my fitness is good. It's just a case of getting little things right. In the first few games, I felt my sharpness was a little bit off and also the timing of my passing. It will come back in time – I've still got the knack for scoring, so that's been good! I look to score in every game I play. If I come off the pitch having not scored, I am always disappointed. I set myself high standards.
You were the spearhead of the much-heralded ‘class of 2011’ team. How do you judge the side’s progress since then?
In a way, it's been bittersweet. It's nice to see Paul Pogba doing very well at Juventus and Ravel Morrison is also starting to do well. We knew we had a good team and proved that in the FA Youth Cup, when we blew most teams aside. A few people mentioned we could have been the best team to come through since the Class of ’92. Young players can feel they are ready but you know it's something you have to accept at United because it's like no other club. You have to wait and be patient because there are so many great players here.
Patience has to be a virtue. It's paying off now with Jesse Lingard..
Yes, Jesse did really well on tour. He's also had a very successful loan period so far with Birmingham City. The coaches have said all along that they know we will progress in our own time and sometimes it's just waiting for that physical development. It's great to see all these players I've come up with push on and make their own mark, whether it's in our first team or out on loan.