players on a football pitch trying to win matches. We’ve got some exceptionally talented professionals here and the most inspiring thing for me is working with players who are at the very top end of their profession. That motivates and inspires you to be an even better coach because you have to help improve players who are already at the top of their game. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
David Moyes has talked about what an exciting challenge it is for him as manager, is it just as big a challenge for you as a coach?
Absolutely. It’s awe-inspiring and I’m loving every minute of it. I had a taste of it when I worked with the national team for a couple of years and I’ve worked for some very good football clubs. The last one I was at, Everton, was fantastic with great people and I enjoyed it, but then you come to this level and you have to step up again. It really is an exceptional place to work.
What has impressed you most about the players and their work ethic?
I think players in general are now realising that in order to keep themselves in top physical condition they have to go the extra mile every day. There are no short-cuts. You’ve got to do the work. I’ve been very impressed by the United lads’ professionalism to make sure they’re in top physical condition by doing that extra work. The senior players are vital to the squad - they set the benchmark and are the ones everyone wants to emulate. And the senior lads lead by example. The likes of Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra…all the senior players I’ve worked with so far set the standard and that filters through to the young lads.