Manchester United’s versatile Dutchman Daley Blind wants to be stronger in the tackle in his second season in the Premier League.
After a solid first season at Old Trafford, with impressive performances, both at defensive midfield and at left back, Blind has no plans to rest on his laurels.
In an interview with this month’s ’FourFourTwo’, magazine Blind said: "Now I’m better (since joining United) at making interceptions, reading the game and choosing the right position."
The Dutchman knows there are areas of his game that must improve, highlighting his tackling and physicality as the places where he needs to concentrate on.
"Sometimes you need to make a physical tackle as well, and perhaps that’s what I can focus on for the new campaign."
Blind also spoke of his nervousness ahead of his debut last season, and emphasised just how fast the Premier League is compared to other European divisions.
"Before my first match against QPR I was a bit nervous, but that went away once I got out on the pitch. The pace of that match was high, and even though I had experience of playing matches before, at home in Holland and in Europe, I still got cramp at the end of the game. It just tells you what kind of speed which Premier League matches are played."
Despite this initial struggle, Blind began to excel for United as the season progressed, and even scored a few goals. Talking further about his first campaign for the red side of Manchester, Blind has vivid memories of United’s 2-1 victory against Liverpool, at Anfield in March.
"I really enjoy the atmosphere in those kinds of stadium. If you see the number of United fans travelling with us, it’s unbelievable. I think we have the biggest away support. That’s what sticks with me most from my first season."
Throughout the season Blind was a player that Louis Van Gaal relied upon heavily and the trust appears mutual.
"Louis Van Gaal sees everything, and what he says always comes true. Many times we have won matches on details which we had practised in training before hand."
Turning to this season, United’s ’Mr Versatile’ is clearly targeting a sizable improvement in the league and is looking towards taking the title back to the red side of Manchester.
"I think for a club like United the main target is always to become champions. If you look at how many fans we have all over the world, the trophies the club has won in the past and the kind of players we have on the pitch, then you expect to go for the title."