Williams relishing Norwich experience
Manchester United defender Brandon Williams has relished the opportunity to continue his development both on and off the pitch while on loan at Norwich City this season.
The 21-year-old had already made a half-century of appearances for the Reds before moving on a season-long loan to Carrow Road club for 2021/22.
The full-back has played in 24 of the Canaries’ 31 Premier League games so far this campaign and is hoping to aid the Norfolk club’s push to secure their top-flight status over the coming weeks.
Williams is ineligible to play when we meet with the division’s current 20th-placed side at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday, but he will be in the stands watching a contest between the two teams that he knows best.
That's what he told us when we caught up with him this week to check in on how he's doing. You can read our chat in full below...
Williams: Norwich will fight to the end
Brandon looks ahead to Saturday's fixture and gives an insight into the current mindset in the Canaries dressing room...
Brandon, first of all, it’s great to see you and speak with you, how are you and how have you been since we last caught up with you?
“Yeah, I’ve learnt a lot more. I’ve obviously been enjoying my time here; it’s been a good year for me. It’s something I wanted to do when I came here. I wanted to get this to play football and that’s what I’ve managed to do. We’ve got a few more games to go and we’re still fighting for our lives so it’s good to be in and around it and in a different position to what I’m used to.”
It was a massive result for you guys at the weekend, that came off the back of the draw at Brighton. I know you were injured for that one, but you watched the team, they had to dig in. There must be a lot of confidence in the team going into this next game on Saturday…
“Yeah, we know what we’re capable of, we know as a team what we set out as an achievement and that’s to stay in this league, and that’s what we’ll keep fighting to do. We’re buzzing at the minute because we just got another win and it’s always nice when you get a win. It’s a good feeling, everyone’s got their confidence and we want to continue that now.”
I know you can’t play on Saturday, you must be gutted not to be able to play but I’m sure you’ll be there supporting the lads. Are you looking forward to catching up with some people that you maybe haven’t seen in a while?
“Yeah definitely, when I got my injury a couple of weeks ago, I managed to go to Carrington because I had to do my scan there, so I caught up with a few people, but it will be nice to be back at Old Trafford again. Obviously it will be a bit weird supporting another team, I’ve never done it before!”
When you’re in the Old Trafford stands, you’ve been used to supporting United, so what are your memories of watching United growing up?
“My memories was around 2008 to when I started playing. It was many years where I used to go to Old Trafford. I used to have a few season tickets there as well. I’ve seen us win the Premier League at Old Trafford, so for me it will be a bit strange but like I said, I’ll be there with Norwich and that’s the job I’ve got to do this year, to help Norwich stay in the Premier League for next season.”
It’s obviously been a difficult season for you guys being towards the bottom, but you’ve shown a lot of character in recent weeks, and I suppose that shows a lot about the team doesn’t it?
“Yeah, a lot of people wrote us off at the start of the season when we didn’t get a win, but we’ve showed teams around us that we can fight until the end. We’re still in and around it, another win now and we’re only four points and then it all comes down to that last day with one point if we get another win after that. So, anything can happen, I feel like with the games that we’ve got coming up, we can get a lot of points from these games.”
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“Yeah, when your body feels like that and you prepare well, it makes the game easy. You don’t have to worry about your fitness, and you just concentrate on the football side of it. As long as your body is 100 per cent, you can then play with 100 per cent and all the attributes that you have you can use because you’ve prepared well, and your body is right.”
That must give you a lot of confidence but also, your performances on the pitch will as well. We saw recently that you won the club’s Player of the Month for January, that must have give you a lot of confidence that the Norwich fans have really backed you as well…
“Yeah, January was a good month for me. I felt we got some good results in there, I think we just lost one, so it was a good month for us, we stepped up our game and obviously we want another month like that where we go into every game confident as a team. Hopefully, the last part of April and then May can be the same.”
You said when you joined Norwich that you wanted to step out of your comfort zone, move away from home, focus on your football, do you really feel like you’ve matured off the field as well?
“Yeah, that’s been a big thing while I’ve been down here because I’m obviously far away from my family, but I’ve had to learn how to do things and live here without the luxury of having your mum or your dad cooking! It’s been difficult but I feel like it’s really helped me.”
You mentioned your family there, you’ve got quite a tight-knit family. Have they been able to get to games much or see you over the course of the season?
“Yeah, my dad’s been down to nearly every game, my friends come to every single game really, so it’s been good to see them on the weekend. For the away games, we travel all over the country anyway, so they aren’t really the issue, but Norwich is the furthest game so that’s a bit of a trek!”
I know you’re a massive Red, so you’ll have been watching a lot of the games and how much have you been following the team this season? I saw your tweet before the derby last month, how much have you watched of United this season?
“I’ve watched every game that I can when I’ve not been playing and United are on. I’ll always support them - just not this weekend!”
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Pre-order the latest issue of our iconic matchday programme, ahead of the Norwich fixture.
“Watching Ant break through and seeing the goals he’s scored in big games too, it’s been good to see. I lived with Anthony for a few years in digs. Me and Ant grew up together if you want to say it like that, we’ve known each other for many years and it’s good to see him do that and I hope he can carry it on. With Jim and all the boys that are on loan, the group’s a very good team, like Tahith [Chong], Teden [Mengi], Dylan Levitt in Scotland and [Ethan] Galbraith, Ethan Laird, there’s so many players which are capable of being in the Premier League one day and I hope we can all play in the Premier League one day.”
Just finally, on your journey at Norwich, you’re on your last month of games, it seems like time’s flown. Aside from wanting to keep Norwich in the division, what else are your aims for these next few weeks?
“To play as many games as possible, to play in every single game I’m allowed to play in, minus this one, and then all the games after it I want to play in every single game, I want to play 90 minutes, but I would like to get a goal for Norwich, it would be very special for me.”
Have you got any celebrations lined up if you do get a goal?
“It depends if it keeps us up on the last day of the season [smiles]!"