Morgan Schneiderlin Sept 19, 2015 7:27:02 GMT
Post by CaajScot on Sept 19, 2015 7:27:02 GMT
19/09/2015 08:00, Report by Alex Urquhart-Cannon. Interview by Mark Sullivan.
SCHNEIDERLIN TO SAVOUR ST MARY'S RETURN
Having played a pivotal role in the rise of Southampton from League One to thriving in the Barclays Premier League, Morgan Schneiderlin returns to St Mary’s this weekend a Manchester United player. Here’s what the Frenchman said to MUTV ahead of his Saints reunion…
Morgan, the most pressing concern for us is Luke Shaw. Have you spoken to him and do you know how he’s doing?
Yes, I spoke to him yesterday and told him that I am behind him, his family. It will be a tough time but he’s got to stay strong. It’s easier to say than do but he’s a young lad with his head on his shoulders. He looks okay. He’s strong mentally and I’m sure he will go back and work every day to come back as soon as possible.
What did you think of the messages of support for Luke from all around the footballing world – including from your old club Southampton?
It’s lovely. In those difficult moments in the football world we are one family. We all know how it is to have a big injury and how bad we feel when we are injured – even for a small amount of time such as three or four weeks. We know how it is to be out for so long, so it’s nice to see the people sending him best wishes. From Southampton, [the message] was very nice. He grew up there and was in the academy. They made him when he was young and they’re a very nice club.
You spent seven years at Southampton. Will it be strange to go back there as a visiting player?
Yes, it will be strange in a way to go in the away dressing room. I’ve never seen the away dressing room! I’ll see all the people that I worked with for seven years all behind the scenes. I know all the staff there so it will be strange for me but I need to stay focused on my game and put all those things aside. I need to just work on my game and be as focused as I can, but it will be very nice to savour.
Can going back to an old ground be a distraction?
It could be but I’ve never had this before. We’ll see but I think I’ve got a strong enough mentality to deal with this situation. I have some very good friends there and a good relationship with everyone. I left the club on good terms so there will be no issue in that way. Of course I will fight for Manchester United because this is my club now. I will give my best for it.
Have you thought about the reception you might get from the home crowd?
We will see but I know, and I think also the fans know, that I gave my best to Southamptom. I know there have been some up and downs at the club. In the first two years after I came we went down to League One, but I left the club in the Premier League with their best [points] record in the league ever. I fought for this team with my team-mates. So we’ll see what the reception is but we parted on good terms.
What have you made of Southampton's start to the season? One win, three draws and a defeat so far for them in the league…
There aren’t as many challenges as there were last season. They bought so many players and for them to gel takes a bit of time. They didn’t have the best start to the season – not as good as last year – but they are a good team. They wanted to progress in Europe, they couldn’t do it, but maybe that’s a good thing for them to just focus on the league. We already know that it’s going to be a tough game. They have very, very good players. We need to be at 100 per cent to win the game.
You’re extremely well placed to tell your team-mates who to watch out for in the Southampton ranks and to give inside info. Who would you pick out as the ones to watch?
Southampton have never been one player, they have been a team. There are so many good players. Jose Fonte has been the captain and main figure in this team. In the midfield there is a very strong presence with Victor Wanyama and Steven Davis. Steven is a very, very good player and Wanyama is strong. There is Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane, who had a very good season last year. Jay Rodriguez came back from injury and if he’s strong like he was before his injury then he’ll be a real threat. I’m sure he’ll come back to his best. There are so many good players in this team, so we need to watch out. It’s a team that will work very hard.