Daley Blind, the Dutch footballer, has been a regular starter for Manchester United this season. His relationship with Louis van Gaal started well before he joined United. He speaks about his relationship with the manager and life at Old Trafford
Has manager Louis van Gaal being your former boss in the Netherlands national team helped you make a smooth entry into this United side?
Yes, he has helped me a lot. I knew him before, he knows what kind of player I am and how to make the most of me. He is an honest manager; he is clear about what he wants from us in training and in matches. Our dressing room has a great spirit and it doesn’t take any player long to integrate.
How do you see United’s campaign this season, how do you think the team has dealt with the topsy-turvy year?
Our performances and results haven’t been what we had hoped for and of course the exit from the Champions League was really disappointing. But we’re still fighting on three fronts and the key now is to try and find some form and consistency when it counts. We’re all working very hard and hopefully some of the injured players will be coming back to full fitness too.
After Tottenham, United have the second-best defensive record in the premier league. Do you feel it is the backline and David de Gea in goal that has kept United in the top half of the table this season?
David has been magnificent which is why he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, there have also been lots of clean sheets down to good defensive work. The key now is to work really hard on our defensive discipline between now and the end of the season, which would of course help our attacking players too.
Personally, how has your stint with United been? What goals have you set for yourself at Old Trafford?
I feel good here now in my second season. As I said the team spirit is really good and we all have a good relationship both on and off the pitch. I never really set goals, the only goal I ever set is to win the next match and to stay healthy.
United has one of the most fanatical following in the football. How has it been being treated to that kind of support through the season?
It’s amazing to see we have so many fans all over the world. We’ve been able to go on tour to lots of different countries over the years and it amazes me how much we have a passionate following wherever we go.