Iqbal enjoying the ‘rollercoaster ride’

The teenager admits his upbringing plays a vital part in his drive to continue working hard as he looks forward to a first full season in Premier League 2 with United’s Under-23s.

“I come from such a hard-working family,” he added. “My parents are always working hard, my brother, my grandparents. When we came to this country, they all inspired me to give my best at everything I do.’’

For inspiration on the pitch, Iqbal says he looks to footballers who share the same religion as him.

“Mesut Ozil, because he’s a Muslim like me as well. Just seeing another Muslim footballer is a good thing,” he explained.

“The journey is different for everyone, and I can tell you it’s not easy. It’s like a rollercoaster, up and down.

“You just have to enjoy the ride and whatever’s meant to be is meant to be.’’

Adblock test

Update from day one at St Andrews

We also managed to grab a word with two of the Reds’ Euro 2020 stars on Monday.

Diogo Dalot, who made his senior debut for Portugal in June, gave an insight into a ‘fantastic’ last 12 months and set his target for the season ahead – you can read the piece first thing on Tuesday morning.

Wales winger Daniel James was the latest player to sit down with us for a Fans’ Q&A, as he tackled several of your teasers, on topics such as his speed, his favourite music and more.

Adblock test

August is here! Key dates for United fans

9: With all of our pre-season games now in the rear-view mirror, it will be all systems go at Carrington ahead of our Premier League opener against Leeds United.

10: We will be sending birthday wishes to our former captain and United legend Roy Keane – many happy returns, Keano!

11: Summer signing Jadon Sancho and prospective new arrival Raphael Varane could be just days away from making their competitive United debuts at Old Trafford. That was just what Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James were doing exactly two years ago, in a memorable 4-0 win over Chelsea. 

12: Today marks a couple of notable anniversaries for our first great team of the 2000s – Ruud van Nistelrooy scored on his United debut in the 2001 Community Shield against Liverpool and two years later, Cristiano Ronaldo signed for the Reds from Sporting Lisbon.

13: The 2021/22 Premier League season gets under way when newly-promoted Brentford host fellow London club Arsenal in a Friday evening kick-off. Earlier in the day, we will hear from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who will be speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference on the eve of our huge home clash with Leeds. 

14: The day we have all been waiting some time for. Old Trafford is set to welcome a full house for the first time in nearly 18 months when Leeds visit us for a game that kicks off at 12:30 BST. Our Under-18s will get their league campaign under way half-an-hour earlier, with a Manchester derby at the Academy Stadium. 

Adblock test

Cox: Why McShane has returned to United

“He will give our exciting, young attacking players a daily challenge so they will be able to go up against him knowing he’s played in the European Championship and played in some huge games, FA Cup finals. He’s a daily presence for them to try to test themselves against and he can be the big brother to the other defenders and teach them, a little bit like the old-school world of Reserves football.

“Young players were [then] playing with and against senior players and you would learn from your peers and learn on the job, rather than just all the information always coming from the coach. He may, indeed, at the right time, play in some fixtures as well. He is not predominantly joining us as a player but he may play as a learning tool for other players.

Adblock test

Who’s been United’s most consistent player?

“I think he was a great partner for Rio [Ferdinand]. He was just an out-and-out defender but I shouldn’t really say that because he could play football as well.

“He always came across as an out-and-out defender anyway and one no centre-forward would want to come up against. He very rarely made mistakes, was aggressive and scored a few important goals for us.

“I would say Vidic, on that front.”

Adblock test