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INTERVIEW: In love with the game

24 August 2013

Danny Butterfield on signing for United

New arrival Danny Butterfield spoke to us this week about putting the team first as he arrived on non-contract terms ahead of the trip to Colchester.

“I suppose the way this happened is a bit of a strange one, really,” he said. “I’m best friends with Shaun Derry and he knows Greg [Abbott] really well from their time at Leeds.

“He made a call to say I was available and the manager asked me to come up and have a look at the place. 

“I’m really excited to be here. He’s given me an opportunity to come and play some games on a short-term basis and, if I can help the club out by doing that, then it’s a good thing for all of us.”

“I’m at an age where playing games is important,” he continued. “You see a lot of people playing for the money and they go through the motions without really loving the game. 

“I’m still in love with the game and I think that’s a massive part of me as a person. I love being around the lads and playing football.”

“It doesn’t feel like a squad that has had a bad start at all,” he insisted. “I spoke to the gaffer after the first training session and I told him that everyone looked confident and in good spirits. 

“I know it’s different on a match day when it’s in front of the fans and everything like that, but I think there’s a group there that’s capable of having a successful season. There are players here who are good at this level and I have no doubt they could go on to play higher.”

On his own situation, he said: “I was at Southampton last season and I didn’t get involved as much as I wanted with them, so I ended up at Bolton on loan. My contract ended down there and it’s now a case of trying to find a new club and trying to sort something out for the future.

“I am a player who is very loyal. Once I get to a club I certainly do get my teeth into it and I’m as honest with them as I can be. I work as hard as I can for as long as they want me. 

“This is obviously a short-term deal initially but I would like it to become something more permanent. We’ll just have to see where it takes us.”

“I do like to join in and get forward as much as possible,” he told us. “I’ll try and use my experience to calm the lads down and I am a voice on the pitch. That’s a big part of my game. 

“I think it’s really important to communicate but if I can add anything at all then I hope it’s towards bringing us the result we all want.”

“Taking my situation out of the equation I think the important thing is that we need to go to Colchester and get a result,” he said. “I’m not worried about my longer term situation right now. All I want at the moment is to be involved on Friday night and to help with what we all hope will be a good performance. That’s what we all want. What happens to me is a secondary issue.

“I’ve played in a lot of positions right through my career but I’m predominantly a full back or a sitting midfielder. The gaffer has used me at right back in the last couple of training sessions and it feels like I’ve slotted in quite well. As long as I’m contributing and the team is successful then I’ll be happy.”

“I think senior players have an even bigger part to play when the team is going through a sticky patch,” he agreed. “There’s a lot of pressure gets heaped straight onto the manager but, in many ways, the senior boys have got to take control of the dressing room. 

“Whether that’s with a few strong words or putting arms round shoulders, it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about giving as much as you can give and getting as much as you can out of the other players around you.”

Looking back at his career, he said: “I joined the Grimsby youth team when I was 16 and I was in the first team a year and a half later. 

“I was there for a good six years before moving on to Palace and then Southampton, so I’ve had some long periods with all my clubs. That’s good for me in terms of getting established but, at the same time, I’m not one of those flair players who moves around for big money. I believe I’m a reliable person who will give everything for the team every week.

“Palace was a highlight with the promotion and the year we spent in the Premier League, but just recently I had the back-to-back promotions with Southampton and that was a bit special as well. Playing a part with any club to get them to the top flight is always going to be nice.”

“As I said before, I’m a loyal guy and my aim is to prove that I’m good enough to be here for the remainder of the season,” he told us.

“That’s not the big issue at the moment though. The immediate aim is to help this club to get the results we need.”

United Player subscribers can see an interview with Danny Butterfield now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe. 

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