Phelan: This is a club that can inspire you
Mike Phelan was confirmed as Manchester United's permanent assistant manager on Friday morning, with the club announcing he had signed a three-year-deal.
“Yeah, it’s very important, the team alongside the team, really. That’s where success starts in my opinion. You’ve got to have a good group of people who support the players, and really that’s something that we’re trying to develop, we’re trying to work at. Ole’s doing his best at the moment to make sure that that structure’s in place. We’ve had our ups and down, from the early part when we came in to where we are right now, but it all bodes well for the future. It gives you a little insight into what’s required and where we need to go.”
“No. In December, I was in Australia and I came back. I was doing some work out there for the Central Coast Mariners and I came back to enjoy Christmas, and then I got a phone call which invited me to come back to Manchester United, and it didn’t take long to agree to that! It’s been a rollercoaster to be quite honest, and I’m quite looking forward to a break, to be fair, to catch my breath!”
“Yeah, well it’s an important time. We’ve looked at things, we’ve assessed things. We got off to an unbelievable start. The players responded magnificently, really, by going on that great run, and what really came out of that was the fact that they enjoyed that spell. It was something that they hadn’t experienced before.
“We rode our luck along the way and yeah we’ve since hit a bit of a leveller, but it’s all about piecing things together and seeing where we can go, and it gives us an idea now of where we need to be and what we need to prepare for. We’re in a great position to be able to do that. We start from ground level and work our way up, as they say, so hopefully we can build on things.”
“There are only so many clubs in the world who have a special DNA-type thing. There are less than a handful, and Manchester United is one of them. Mick knows that more than anybody, as you say, having been a massive part of Manchester United’s success with Alex Ferguson, and it’s important that the players are educated on that by people who know it, and can let them know what it means to be a Manchester United player.
“The standards are different to any other club in the world; the expectancy is different to any other club in the world. And the players have to be educated on that, to not be afraid of it but to embrace it. People talk about the history of the club – we were always told to ‘embrace that, feel a part of it, don’t be intimidated by it, strive to be like these famous great players’.
“It was an education, and I loved every minute of it. That’s what Mick’s talking about. The foundations have to be put in place to get us back to that level, and to get the players to realise how special it is to play for Manchester United, [to] want to be here. Learn about the history of the club, so that they’re a part of that history one day, of achieving fantastic things.”
“I think you want to create history don’t you? It’s all about creating history. History’s here, it surrounds you. It’s all about: do you want to be part of the next stage of the history? I think it’s important. We’re here tonight, and good young players are earning awards. That’s the start of it. You want them to progress. You want them to be influential now, going forward. You want to add to that, and get the ingredients right, but it’s really a club that can inspire and take you to the next level, and we all know how good that feels.
“Myself, I’ve been on that magic roundabout and it’s a tremendous feeling. Coming back, you want to do it again, and it will take a lot of hard work, a lot of endeavour, but you’ve got to enjoy the moment, haven’t you? It’s a simple fact. Come in, train every day, enjoy every day, play the game in front of how-many-thousand-people – not just in the stadium but around the place, around the world – who really want you to do well. So it’s all there. You’ve just got to turn up and perform.”