Valencia reveals injury disappointment
Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia has admitted this season has been a let-down from a personal point of view.
Valencia won United's player-of-the-year award last term after some outstanding displays for the Red Devils but has struggled for consistency this time around and has appeared just 21 times in the Barclays Premier League.
"It's not been quite the season I would have hoped for on a personal front," Valencia told United Review. "The injuries I've had have held me back a bit and I still get the odd twinge in my leg. That has perhaps affected my progress slightly."
He went on: "But I hope I get the chance to be involved in as many games as possible and if I'm picked I'm determined to grab my opportunities and do my best for my team-mates, the manager and the fans."
A Premier League title winner during his second season at United, Valencia looks like picking up yet another medal in May.
It is certainly hard to imagine the Red Devils tossing away their present 15-point advantage over the final nine games, even if Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are still to be faced in the run-in.
Skipper Nemanja Vidic has already pointed out how keen United are to reclaim the championship after last season's agonising last-day drama.
It explains why Sir Alex Ferguson put such pressure on Rio Ferdinand to ignore his unexpected England call.
And Valencia's words merely emphasise that stance.
"The desire amongst the lads to win the league is huge," he said. "We really couldn't be any more determined. We do not want a repeat of last season. Every game is like a cup final for us - we have to fight in every minute of every match. We know it's in our hands and we have to make sure we make the advantage we have count."