“I perhaps felt that Brendan didn’t have quite so much confidence in me, certainly at the start of the season. He told me I was training hard but then I didn’t feature for those first five or six games.

“He said to me that it was still early in the season and that my opportunity would come but after the first game against Stoke, when we kept a clean sheet, he said he wasn’t going to change anything defensively at that point.

“It is true that when I was out of the team I was angry. It never entered my head that I was going to leave as I want to stay forever, but I had this inner anger, a rage almost.

“I felt I was playing well, training well. He told me that I was training well. But I couldn’t see why I wasn’t getting a chance at the beginning.”

“I feel like I have fully integrated into the team again. Not being in the side for the first five or six games just inspired to me work as hard as I could in training so I could fight for my place in the starting XI.

“The manager has a huge passion for the game which I think I do. He wants you to express yourself on the field. He wants you to offer not 100% but 200% when you are performing and I think I offer that. It fits in with me.

“He really wants me to learn English as quickly as possible so he can get his ideas over. I have to brush up on my English.

“Through Lucas, he tells me to get forward, to be attack-minded. When I am defending, he tells me to be aggressive and stay tight to the person that I am marking. When I am going forward, not to be scared or play with tension and to be relaxed in possession of the ball.”

“I think that it has been a 100% change. Everything is totally different. He spoke to all the players and the first thing he said to us was that he was going to judge things on what he saw and what he felt. He told us we all started from zero. He said the present had nothing to do with the past and the previous regime.”

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