DANNY DRINKWATER’S got Premier ambitions – but he’s loving life in League I.
The Manchester United midfielder is four weeks into a season-long loan at Town, and can’t believe how fast the time is going.
Today’s home clash with Brentford is set to provide a fourth start and sixth appearance in all for the 19-year-old, who returned from two games out with a groin injury to help his adopted club win 3-2 at MK Dons last Saturday.
Drinkwater, born and bred close to United’s Carrington training base, signed a new two-year contract over the summer, but knew a loan move was on the cards.
“I really need some first-team football under my belt,” explained the versatile England Under 19 cap, who was a regular in the United reserve side last season, but hadn’t played a senior game until coming on as a substitute in Town’s 3-1 home win over Southampton on August 15.
Drinkwater’s long-term plan is to force his way into the Old Trafford reckoning, but his current commitment to Town is underlined by the fact that he has chosen to live in Huddersfield rather than commute.
“This move is all about me developing as a person as well as a player, and I wanted to get fully involved with Huddersfield,” he explained.
“Myself and the staff at Manchester United started talking about a loan move midway through last season, but it had to be right.
“When Huddersfield came in I was delighted, because it’s not that far from home, it’s a club of stature and tradition with good support, there is an excellent coaching staff here and I knew a couple of the players, Lee Peltier through mutual friends and Alex Smithies from England Under 19s.
“The rest of the lads have been fantastic since day one, and the team spirit here is superb.
“I think you could see that from the reaction to the win at MK Dons. We had to show a lot of character to come from behind twice and get the win, and it really meant something.
“The supporters backed us brilliantly, and it was great to be able to go over and celebrate with them at the end.”
MK boss Paul Ince, of course, was a Manchester United midfield legend, and Drinkwater says he has learned a huge amount from watching and training with the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick.
“There are so many good players there you would have to be mad not to watch, listen and learn from them,” he added.
“Every training session is meaningful, but you can say that about Huddersfield as well, because the manager and his staff are hugely knowledgeable.
“Derek Fazackerley is a great coach, and for me, having a legendary midfield player like Terry McDermott as well as Lee Clark around is brilliant, because they are always passing on tips and advice.
“League I is challenging – faster and more physical than Premier Reserve League football – but I think I’m beginning to get to grips with it now.”