Belfast Telegraph

NI star McNair is happy to fight for manager Van Gaal

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland star Paddy McNair has revealed that he enjoys a strong relationship with Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchman gave McNair his United debut last season and had enough faith in the teenager to play him 18 times and hand him a new two year contract.

This season, though, McNair has found himself down the pecking order, only playing for 20 minutes as a substitute, and last night missed out on a rare start due to a 'minor injury' when he was set to play against Ipswich Town in the Capital One Cup tie at Old Trafford.

McNair intends working hard to earn more first team opportunities under a manager he clearly has much respect for.

Talking about being given a new contract and his feelings on Van Gaal, McNair said: "It felt like a boost for me, it was a great feeling and I was delighted. The boss is a great manager, he has done so much in his career, so for somebody like that to support me gives me a massive confidence boost. I have a good relationship with him."

The 20-year-old Ballyclare man, who is now a fully fledged Northern Ireland international as well as a United player admits he is slowly becoming accustomed to strangers recognising him.

"I sometimes get fans coming up to me in the street, especially at home in Northern Ireland where there's a massive United fan base," he said.

"It's different but I enjoy it, I don't mind people approaching me. People at home are proud of me and they tell me how well I'm doing. It's a nice feeling."

And on being the latest United star to come through the youth system at the club, McNair is delighted to offer advice to other youngsters at the club.

"It shows our Academy players have a chance of making it into the first team," explained McNair.

"A couple of the younger lads have asked me what it's like to play at Old Trafford, or what's it like to walk out of the tunnel. I just tell them to keep working hard and that their chance will come."

Belfast Telegraph


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