James: The fans drive me forward

Sunday 08 August 2021 07:00

Manchester United winger Daniel James says he relishes the opportunity to play in front of the Reds faithful and was delighted to do just that against Everton on Saturday.

Old Trafford welcomed back 55,000 fans during our emphatic 4-0 win over the Toffees, the largest crowd inside the stadium since before the pandemic. 

It was a welcome sight for James and co, with the Welshman admitting post-match that empty stadiums felt like a normality after the last 18 months or so.
Highlights: United 4 Everton 0 Video

Highlights: United 4 Everton 0

Watch five minutes of highlights from our excellent 4-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford...

Speaking to MUTV’s Stewart Gardner after the victory, James expressed his joy at being able to play with the supporters in attendance at the Theatre of Dreams again. 

"It's absolutely brilliant coming out [to this crowd], we're edging closer to the start of the season now and I'm sure next week will be ten times louder. 

“It kind of became normal without fans and it was a bit weird but it's nice. We kind of got a little taste of fans again at the Euros and now to have fans here cheering us on is brilliant. 

“When we're under it a bit, they're still cheering for us and for me, it just drives me forward."
The win, which James started and played just short of 70 minutes in, was the perfect way for the Reds to round off a pre-season that has seen us gear up for the campaign with training camps in Surrey and Scotland, games on the road and fixtures in front of our home fans. 

It was the perfect preparation for 2021/22, says James, particularly off the back of a very short pre-season this time last year, due to the pandemic. 

"I think it was important [to have a proper pre-season],” the winger told MUTV. 

“This year, we haven't gone abroad anywhere, we've been down to London and up to Scotland. It's been great, everyone comes in at different times, but everyone knows their jobs and responsibilities. 

“We'll rest now and prepare well for the game next week."

Sancho and Varane watch United v Everton


See what Jadon and our prospective new signing from Real Madrid posted on social media during the match.

That game is of course our highly anticipated Premier League opener, with Leeds United the visitors to M16 for a 12:30 BST kick-off next Saturday (14 August). 

It is a fixture that the lads are already counting down the days to, according to James. 

"I can't wait. I think everyone is exactly the same. What a game to have first, Leeds United. 

“I think us as well as them last season for the fans were gutted [that they couldn’t attend]. 

“It will be a great atmosphere and I'm sure it's one both teams are really looking forward to."