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Cheltenham Town video: Manchester United loan youngster Luke McCullough wants to stay, if he is playing

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

Luke McCullough

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MANCHESTER United youngster Luke McCullough has intimated he will only extend his loan spell with Cheltenham Town if he is given more match action.

He is nearing the end of his initial month with the League Two Robins, but he had to wait until Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Aldershot Town to make his senior debut.

The 19-year-old replaced veteran Steve Elliott during first-half stoppage time and produced an accomplished second-half display as Cheltenham dominated and kept their former striker Jeff Goulding quiet.

McCullough's opportunities have been restricted by the form of Elliott and Reading loan youngster Michael Hector, who have been Mark Yates' first-choice pairing in recent weeks.

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McCullough said he had enjoyed his time at Cheltenham and he fully respected Yates' decisions, but he would be better off back at his parent club if he is going to be on the fringes.

"If I am going to be playing I'd be more than happy to stay here," McCullough said.

"If I am not getting games it may be just as good to go back and train at Man United, but nothing is decided yet so we will sit down and talk it over."

Cheltenham's most consistent outfield player, 34-year-old Elliott, was forced off due to a dead leg but is expected to be fit again for Saturday's trip to Accrington Stanley.

Yates intends to keep Hector until the end of the season and the 20-year-old is also keen to stay, so despite performing well on his debut McCullough is unlikely to force his way into the side before his month ends on February 25.

"I'd love to be playing, but I have to respect the manager's decision," McCullough said.

"Stevie and Hecs have been doing well so I can't complain much and I just had to stay in shape and take my chance when it came on Saturday.

"I thought I did all right apart from a few sloppy passes, but all in all I was happy enough.

"I would have liked it to have come earlier, but I was delighted to make my League debut and it was the day after my birthday so it was a nice belated present."

If he does return to the Premier League leaders McCullough will go back to training with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

But he said one player stands out in every session.

"Paul Scholes is the best in training, always," McCullough said.

"He is the best at everything we do and every challenge he gets he's the best at it.

"Giggsy is unbelievable too and both of them have been in game so long, you can learn so much from them and the way they conduct themselves on and off the pitch.

"It's the best club in the world so there is nowhere better to learn your football, but I definitely have learned a lot in the short time I have been at Cheltenham as well."

■ Youth team midfielder Joe Hanks set for professional deal, see page 39.

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