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Cheltenham Town video: Manchester United starlet wants a start

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

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LUKE McCullough says it is impossible not to learn something every day when you are training with some of the greatest players for a generation.

As a first year professional at Manchester United, the Northern Irish central defender has been working on a daily basis with the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand.

The 18-year-old jumped at a chance to join Cheltenham Town on loan at the end of last week and he already has his sights set on breaking into Mark Yates' starting XI and extending his spell with the League Two club beyond an initial month.

Having arrived a few hours before kick-off, McCullough was on the bench for Friday's 0-0 home draw with Rochdale, but he is keen to follow in the footsteps of Everton prospect Luke Garbutt by cutting his first team teeth with the Robins.

"I've come down here to start and it's up the manager and if he thinks I can – if not there must be a reason behind it and I have to respect it," McCullough said.

"I know it's going to be tougher physically and a lot quicker than Academy football, but I have to settle in quickly and get used to it.

"I have got to adapt quickly to the style of football in League Two.

"All being well the loan will be extended too and I just want to do as well as I can and play as much as I can."

McCullough believes that being at three-time European champions United has taught him so much about how to conduct himself on and off the pitch.

"Training alongside the likes of Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand, you learn something new every day on and off the pitch," he said.

"You learn about how to act, how to live your life and there is nowhere better to learn your trade.

"It's the best club in the world, so you have to be the best on and off the pitch and everything is 100 per cent.

"The first team players are all good and they talk to you and try to help you out in training and at the gym and give you so many tips."

McCullough admitted the events of the past two-and-a-half years since he was spotted by United scouts has been difficult to take in.

"I was playing for Dungannon Swifts back home and a scout saw me playing for Northern Ireland," he said.

"The club invited me over for a trial and I did well, so they offered me a contract.

"That was the best feeling in the world, definitely the best of my life."

McCullough said that United chief Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been at the helm since 1986 – eight years before he was born – oversees the whole club with absolute authority.

"We don't see that much of him on the training ground, but now and then he is out there," McCullough said.

"He just runs the whole club, down to every detail and in my opinion he is the best manager in the history of the game.

"He has sent a lot of good players out to the lower leagues and it's stood them in good stead of the rest of their careers, so hopefully it's the same for me."

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