started to grow when I was about 15 or 16. It just happened quickly. When I was small I had speed but, after around under-13 level, I lost it a little for a couple of years or so. I was still small and had to be clever with it. Once I started to grow I became a bit quicker again and everything came together.
Was the UEFA Youth League easy to adapt to, given your continental background?
It was really good and I think I had more experience on the international side. We were unlucky, as we had never played as an Under-19 team before. It was a mixture of two squads but hopefully the younger lads will do better next year if we are involved in it again.
Was it a good experience travelling with the senior squad for the European trips?
You always see them and think: ‘One day, I want to be up the front with the first team on the plane’.
Paul Scholes helped with the coaching in that competition, and he told us he thinks you could be a future first-team player...
If a legend like Paul Scholes says something like that about you then you become very proud. It is not like you have made it at all, but it does gives your confidence a boost.
You have been used predominantly at right-back, but do you think your future role could be on the wing?
I don’t mind where I play. It’s nice to play in different positions. I think I prefer right-back a bit more, but Warren [Joyce] likes me to play in midfield or on the wing. There is more space at right-back.
Antonio Valencia has filled both roles this term in the senior side – as someone who also has power and speed, do you watch him closely?
He’s a really good player but I look at all the first-team players and watch them off the pitch as well as on it. Sometimes, they will do something extra for themselves in the gym or will stay out