United and there are so many players so I just want to be playing. As long as you’re playing, it’s ace.
Does the UEFA Youth League help bridge the gap between the Under-18 Academy side and the Under-21s?
It’s a good thing, as some of the players are not playing much Under-21 football. It’s not easy to get into the Under-21 team at the start of the season but people go out on loan and obviously you pick up injuries. It’s a good competition to have as well as being a good tournament. It is a big gap between the Under-18s and Under-21s, so it’s a good step to move onto. If we can pick more points up, especially win our home matches and get a few points away, we have a chance of getting through to the knockout stages. It’s a different competition then: knockout football over 90 minutes and penalties.
What is it like playing for Nicky Butt?
It’s brilliant that people like Nicky (below) and Paul Scholes are there. They had all the experience in the world and played in all the top competitions – the Champions League and the Premier League. They were brilliant players, world-class, and you have got to look up to people like them. They know all the stuff so you have got to listen to them.
The aim for you this year must be the Under-21s, and you have already had a taste of that…
I got on a few times at the end of last season. I was on the bench when we won the league against Spurs. It was a proper comeback, that one! We were poor in the first half and never looked like winning it but carried on going, kept running and our fitness told in the end.
How did you originally come to join United, in 2002?
I was only five or six and playing for my local team over in Burnley and Accrington, and I was scouted there. I played at The Cliff with the young ones and then moved over here.
So do you really feel part of the club now?
Of course. There is a real affinity when you have been here for this long. You know everyone around the place and all the people who work here. There are about five or six of us in the team who have come straight through. There are a lot of foreign players at other clubs and, of course, it’s a world game now but I think a lot of United fans would rather see young