Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant is looking forward to welcoming his former side to Old Trafford on Tuesday night, when the Reds face Derby County.
United host the Rams in the Carabao Cup third-round tie and Grant, who spent eight seasons over two spells at Pride Park, is fully aware of the capabilities of Frank Lampard’s side.
The 35-year-old arrived from Stoke City in the summer and will be hoping to make his competitive debut for the Reds, should Jose Mourinho opt to rotate his squad for the encounter.
“I’ve probably watched most of their games (this season),” he told United Review, the official matchday programme.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on a few of their loan signings, who have been doing great; Mason Mount and Harry Wilson have done fantastically.
“The captain [Curtis Davies], Richard Keogh has done great, and Scotty Carson is a good friend of mine. All of those guys are really consistent performers.
“That team has what I would consider potential to play in the Premier League. It’s really just a case of them making that step up. So it will certainly be a test for us going into this fixture.”
Grant joined the Midlands club as a trainee in 2000 and still remains grateful to Derby for giving him his first opportunity in football.
“It’s an excellent football club and I owe them a lot,”he said.
“They gave me a chance as a 15-year-old when I was scratching around a little bit and wasn’t sure whether football was going to be for me. I managed to make my way into the first team and I’ve enjoyed lots of really great times at that club.
“I’ve left it twice, but both times on really good terms, which is a must, really. I have lots of good friends and people that I still keep in contact with now, so it’s a great football club with lots of good memories.”
“If selected, it would be a really special moment for me,“ he said. ”But before you’re thinking how special an occasion it is, or before I’m thinking about what it would mean to run out playing for Manchester United, I’m thinking about the disciplines I’ve got to do, my preparation, my analysis, and the work leading up to the game.
“That will all happen, the game will disappear and probably at some point in the future – if selected and I get a chance to play – I’ll think, ‘that was a really nice moment and I’m really proud of that’.
“But until then, it’s about hard work and building up to the games. At some point in the future, if I get a chance to play for Manchester United, then I’ll look back on that fondly.”
The full interview with Grant will be published in United Review, the official matchday programme. Available to buy at Old Trafford on Tuesday and online, it also features exclusive columns from manager Jose Mourinho and club legend Paddy Crerand.
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