James Garner.

Garner hopes to show everyone his quality

Friday 21 February 2020 13:54

Manchester United history shows a first-team opportunity can arrive at any time and, as such, James Garner is happy to maintain his sharpness by playing – and scoring – regularly for the Academy.

The versatile 18-year-old has been a standout performer for the Under-23s this season and was part of an Under-19s squad that won 2-0 against Club Brugge in Belgium on Thursday afternoon

Garner produced the moment of the match when he drove up the pitch from the halfway line and past two opposition defenders to dispatch a cool finish into the bottom corner of the goal.
That excellent strike capped a positive victory for our young Reds and, speaking afterwards, James explained he is happy to represent the Academy while waiting for more chances with the seniors. 

“I am not really too fussed which team I play for as long as I am getting the minutes in,” said Garner, who has made seven first-team appearances so far. “I am just going to keep ticking along, stay fit and when the chance does come, hopefully I can take it and I can show everyone what I can do.”
Expanding on his superb goal in Belgium, which you can watch in the video above, Garner continued: “I picked it up and originally I was going to pass it to Chongy, but I just carried on up the pitch! I ended up taking it past two defenders and then just passed it into the corner.

“The game was tough, you know, it was a tough place to play with the strong winds and the pitch. It was a tough place to play but we dug deep and come out with a 2-0 win to be fair.

“The conditions were difficult and especially in the first half when I played at centre-back. All of the space was out wide and we wanted to get the switch on, but we couldn't so we had to keep playing and playing. In the second half it was a bit easier, but the first half was difficult.”

Garner’s intelligence and football IQ was on display in Belgium, where he played at centre-back during the first half before moving forward into midfield for the second period. The physically imposing youth product believes he is benefitting from that versatility on the pitch.

“I enjoy playing in different positions,” James told us in Brugge. “As long as I am on the pitch I don't really care whether I play at centre-back, in midfield, at right-back, or wherever. I am not really bothered as long as I am playing. 

“But, as you come from centre-back into midfield, or from midfield into centre-back, you appreciate the positions of your fellow team-mates that they’re playing in. It helps you more if you can play at centre-back and centre-mid I think.”

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