James: My standout moment
Daniel James feels he is learning in every game he plays for Manchester United and has picked out his performance in our impressive 4-0 win away to Real Sociedad as the one that pleased him most during the 2020/21 campaign.
Our no.21 enjoyed some positive and frustrating spells during the last season. A couple of niggling injuries kept him on the sidelines at points, but the man himself pointed to the little run of goalscoring form he enjoyed towards the end of 2020 and in February as the highlights for him as he reflected on the last nine months.
Club media's Stewart Gardner sat down with James to look back on 2020/21 during which he discussed a number of topics, including his favourite match, unsung hero and a standout performance from a team-mate...
How did you find the campaign with no fans and games every 3/4 days?
“It's been different. It's been hectic. We know the fans are behind us from home, but it's just not the same. It's kind of become normal now without fans but I think you watch games back where we've played games and you can hear the cheering and you kind of forget a little bit. You remember it well in your head but you just want to hear that roar when you're running with the ball. It'll be something that will be great to have back. I think they're missing it just as much as we are. I hope soon we'll get it back when everything's safe.”
What about your own stand-out moments?
“For me, I think when I came back into the team. When we played Istanbul, I came off the bench and scored. I set myself a little few targets, to score as many goals as I can really. I scored one against Newcastle but I think the Sociedad game I enjoyed away from home, [I was] involved in a couple of goals there and got on the scoresheet myself as well, so probably that one.”
How have you developed this season and is there more learning to do?
“I think I'm developing every single game. I'm learning. I reflect on every game and every season I've played, whether I've played zero minutes, whether I play all the games, I think I'm always learning. For me, I'm nowhere near my potential and I just want to keep improving.”
What was your best performance?
“Real Sociedad [away].”
What was your favourite match?
“Man City away, when we beat them in the league.”
What was your best goal?
“I liked playing at the San Siro. If there was fans there it would have been an unbelievable atmosphere, we got to play in Turin, against Sociedad, as the protocols from coming from Spain so we had to play in Italy, but that was a lovely stadium at Juventus.”
What's been your toughest challenge?
“Working my way back into the team around Christmas. I didn't play as many games as I'd have liked, so I was just working my way back into the team.”
Who is your unsung hero?
“Tough one, really. My missus, she's been there through the good and the bad all season long.”
Which would you pick out as the most impressive performance from a team-mate?
“Marcus [Rashford], when he scored the hat-trick against Leipzig. To come off the bench and score a hat-trick, I've got to say that one for me.”