EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

"After going to Leicester, I got used to playing week in and week out and first-team football is completely different to what I expected and what I’d done the season before."

 - Michael Keane

26/06/2013 14:07, Report by Adam Marshall
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Keane pleased with progress

Michael Keane enjoyed an action-packed season – playing for United's first team, enjoying a fine loan spell with Leicester City and earning silverware with the Under-21s. He spoke exclusively with Inside United about his progress..

How pleased were you with the loan spell at Leicester?
It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve played every game since I came here in January. It’s been tough for me physically but I have learned how to cope with my body and perhaps play against different types of strikers. I think I have definitely improved in my time there and I think I’ve done very well.

Can no amount of Under-21 football prepare you for playing at Championship level?
I think it’s completely different playing in front of big crowds every week and actually playing for proper points in the league, looking for promotion. We came up against a lot of difficult teams and other teams who play football. It’s really good experience handling lots of different types of tactics and other factors which can only help me in the future.

You knew some of the lads at Leicester and Jesse Lingard initially went with you. Did that help?
Yes, when I first came over in November, it helped with Jesse being here to integrate with all the lads. I knew Matty James, Ritchie De Laet and Danny Drinkwater as well so that also helped me. The lads were really nice to me and I’ve made some good friends there. Everybody really helped so I think that was a big part of being able to settle in so quickly and playing well for them.

You were even on the shortlist for the club’s Player of the Year award..
I know and I wasn’t expecting that, only being here for half a season. It’s a good honour and shows I’ve done well. I was really happy with that and pleasantly surprised. Wes Morgan won it and Kasper Schmeichel was the other one so we must’ve been doing something right at the back.

How is Kasper’s career coming along?
To be honest, he’s unbelievable in training. His kicking is just a joke. Seriously! I think he’s got a really good future ahead of him. He is still young and is a great shot-stopper while, like I’ve said, his kicking is just unbelievable. I think he has a really good future.

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