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01/12/2012 08:00,
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Cantona interview: Sept 96

Fresh from the glory of 1996's double Double, Eric was optimistic about what lay ahead in 1996/97 - but he delivered a prescient vision of the events about to unfold...

Newcastle were doing very well last season. Did you think they were going to win [the title]?
No, no. We had to believe we could win. Even when we were 12 points behind, we all believed we could still win it.

In the game against QPR when you equalised, you didn’t look happy. You wanted to score another goal...
I always want to win. My team-mates too, and the manager, and Brian Kidd. Everybody. Of course. It was an important moment in the season, when we had climbed to only seven points behind. But when we didn’t win it was a very difficult moment for us. Four days later we played Arsenal and those were a difficult four days. We started from zero, we forgot everything and started to win again. There is a very good team spirit. That includes everybody.

The Newcastle game at St James’ Park was incredible too…
Yes, but I think the best moment was at West Ham. If we had lost there… After West Ham, every game was important. Newcastle was just one of the games we had to play. We had to win every one because we were too many points behind. We had to win, win, win, win, win. It didn’t matter whether it was against Newcastle or Bolton or whoever.

Your goal in the FA Cup final was a special moment. Have you thought about it a lot during the summer?
I’ve thought about it, of course. I sometimes think about the feeling. But I’ve thought about it not because it was a great goal, but because it meant the double Double for Manchester United. It was historic. The feeling between us and among the fans – I’ll never forget it. It was a great moment for everyone who loves Manchester United.

You talk about history. Do you believe in destiny?
No.

Is there a feeling of optimism among the Man United players about the coming season?
We have been training for two weeks now and I feel that everybody is excited. We play in a great club. Last season was great, but now it’s another story. Now we are in pre-season, we are working especially hard for the European Cup, but also the Championship and the FA

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