Manchester United midfielder Fred claims that he is finally settling into life at the club, and is looking forward to proving that he belongs at Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old made only his second start of the season for United against Liverpool at the weekend, having failed to command a regular place in the side since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52m last summer.
The Brazilian has now revealed to the Telegraph that he hopes the game will prove to be turning point in his United career, where he also opened up on how difficult the transition to life in English football has been.
“My first season was difficult but that is normal when a footballer changes league. The Ukrainian league isn’t as strong as the Premier League. It’s faster and more physical here," he said.
“You need to start games strongly and finish them strongly. It’s the full force for 90 minutes, but it takes time to adapt to English football when you come from Ukraine, even though I was playing against some of the best teams in the Champions League, but I believe I am adapting.”
The one-time Manchester City target also revealed that his family have finally adjusted to life in Manchester, and he has started taking English lessons to help communication on the pitch with his teammates.
“I’m learning day by day. I feel like I’m getting better. I have a big heart. I will play better. I like Manchester. My family are here and they like it too. They are speaking English. I’m having English classes, too, but it’s not possible all the time because we travel a lot but we speak lots of languages here.
“I have a good relationship with the manager and the coaches. I speak to the coach [Mike Phelan] every day. And to Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna]. Michael played in my position – he knows what he is saying. They are always encouraging me and I feel the support of fans, too. And I thank them for that.”
Fred's performance on the weekend will please United fans, but there is undoubtedly still a lot of room for improvement - though the midfielder was pleased with the intensity shown against their fiercest rivals.
“Personally, I’m happy how I played in my first 'clasico' against Liverpool. We’re just all a little frustrated that we didn’t hold on to the lead, but we have to be encouraged.
“We played at a very good pace against Liverpool. We needed that, we haven’t started the league well, but we played with heart, we played with force, we attacked quickly, especially in the first half. The second half we continued well but it was more equal.”