EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

25/03/2014 17:12, Report by Adam Marshall
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Pereira making progress

Under-21 game with Liverpool last year so I had a bit more experience and took on the leadership and everything that comes with it. It's good to learn how to win things as well.

You were also a key player in the UEFA Youth League this season. How disappointing was it to go out at the group stage?
It was a good experience and we were just unlucky that we didn't get through because we should have won the last game against Shakhtar Donetsk. We got it back to 1-1 but were unlucky not to score a winner. Hopefully, we can play in it again next year.

It was a shame the FA Youth Cup run ended too, at Huddersfield...
We were a bit unlucky but I guess you have to accept you sometimes can lose games. It was still very disappointing, even if it was good experience as well for all the players.

How much did you enjoy your first game at Old Trafford - the Under-21 win against West Ham?
It was special for me because it was my full debut there and I scored as well.

Warren Joyce has revealed he has been pleased with your progress in training. It must make all the effort worthwhile...
Yes, of course. You have to change the way you train and work harder every day. I feel you must try to develop every single day if you want to get into the first team and I realise you have to work very hard. I think a lot of people believe being a footballer is easy - if you can kick a ball, it's okay. But it is very hard work - not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. If you go home, you have to make sure you rest and other things like that.

Do you agree Adnan Januzaj is a perfect role model for you?
It's a motivation to see him doing well and doing everything right because you know what you have to do. Adnan took his chance and did extremely well and now he's regularly with the first team. We always go out together socially, with Charni [Ekangamene] as well.

Is it a big step up from the Academy to Warren's team?
Well, the Under-18s is a good level as well but the Under-21s is physically stronger and the play is a bit quicker. It's a level above the Under-18s but you would expect that.

So your focus is now on the Under-21s and ensuring a good end to the season...
I want to try to play most of the games for the Under-21s and, hopefully, play well too. We'll see

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