It must have felt great to pull on the shirt and start playing again…
Yeh it was. It was a great feeling, obviously. I’ve been out for a long time and obviously the issues that have gone on for the last couple of months. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the reaction from the fans. But overall I thought the reception was brilliant. I just wanted to get on the pitch and try and help the team win and to score goals.
You received a great reception, as you say, how did it make you feel after?
It was brilliant, obviously. I can understand the fans frustration with the contract negotiations. Obviously it happened in the public eye which made it a little bit more difficult, but at the end of the day, I think the main thing for both myself and the club is that we managed to agree that deal. I’ve heard from different people in the press that I’ve agreed a new deal so that the club can agree a higher price from a different team somewhere along the line. It’s a load of rubbish. I stayed a deal to stay here. My long term future is here at Manchester United.
Since you’ve signed your contract, I think everybody in the whole world know that you’ve been to Dubai and also the Nike HQ. Certain sections of the press have made all sorts of wild claims. What’s the truth behind those trips?
Obviously I got injured and the medical team made it clear that they didn’t want me to do anything for seven to ten days. They felt it was best for me to go away and take that time off. The club gave me the time off to go away because there was no training for me to do. The media made a big thing of it, saying should I be going away, but it’s happened in the past to me, and to other players. Then I went out to the States with a guy from the United medical team and we worked on my fitness training. It was really intense. I’d leave for training at 9am and get back for 6 or 7 o’clock. It was just what I needed to get myself back fit. I wanted to make sure that when I got back in to the team that I was fit and ready, and not take five or six games to get back to my best.
What’s been the reaction from the players to everything that has been going on over the past few weeks?
The players have been fine. There have been no problems with the players whatsoever. Obviously again, the press have probably made a big issue out of nothing really.
How pleased are you to have signed a 5 year deal, especially after what’s happened?
I’m delighted. I’ve always made people aware that I want to be at this club. But I had my concerns and I voiced my opinion. But at the end of the day, I’m delighted I’ve signed a new deal. As I said before, my long term future is here at Manchester United. I want to help younger players the way Giggsy, Gary Neville, Scholesy have helped me. I wanted to be here to help and make this club continue to be successful. That’s my main aim at United.
Interview with MUTV.