UNDER-21S

20/08/2008 09:20, Report by Steve Bartram

Drinkwater happy to shine

Match-winner Danny Drinkwater was delighted to have made the difference in the Reserves' win over a strong Chelsea side on Monday evening.

The midfielder struck his fourth goal in as many pre-season outings in a hard-fought encounter with the Blues' second string, and he was happy to have grasped the opportunity to shine in the high-profile friendly.

"We always knew they were going to come here and have some flair players," Danny told MUTV. "So we were up for sitting back and maybe defending more than we were used to, but they were a good team.

"It's always a good opportunity for us to impress, especially when the manager's watching, so you always try to be that bit more special. There's nothing really better than to score, especially from midfield, so I'm very proud and pleased."

Having seen Reserves colleagues Rafael, Fabio, Rodrigo Possebon and Darron Gibson sample first team action in recent weeks, Danny admits they have shown that the gap from second string to seniors can be bridged.

The energetic midfielder was also delighted to play alongside Gary Neville and Ben Foster, and is hoping their experience will rub off on him.

"Playing with the club captain, what an experience that is," he said. "And Ben is a great professional and a great goalkeeper, and it's just great to be playing with them.

"With the others, it just shows how it does happen, you can take a leaf out of their book. I'll just keep going, keep doing what I've been doing and try to get more positives than negatives."

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