Last updated : 08 June 2004 By Editor

"I'm thankful that this year was somewhat of a success. I was shocked that Man U came after me, never mind get a work permit. It's one of those things in life, you don't ask questions, you take it and run, like when the bank gives you an extra $50. United is very influential I suppose.

"The intensity in the club, the expectation your team mates have, your manager has, was amazing. Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles, all those guys, they've been there for so long. The expectation is right there in the dressing-room, you don't need to look anywhere else. I wanted to play my part, to be up to par with my outings every time.

"It's cut-throat. Thankfully for me, I learned that early on. The pressure to perform, the intensity of training, the intensity of every single match -- that was what struck me as being really different over there.

"Every training session, guys are getting stuck in."

Howard said the entire United squad was supportive when he joined:

"Everyone was tremendous. Guys like Quinton Fortune, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roy Carroll have been especially supportive. Van Nistlerooy's writing his own history, yet he's one of the most humble guys I've ever seen. Roy Carroll really helped me fit in, he's been nothing but professional."