Nani determined to deliver
Nani has acknowleded that his performances must improve if he is to play on a consistent basis.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 22/01/09 10:21am
Manchester United winger Nani acknowledges that his performances must improve in the second half of the season if he is to play on a consistent basis.
Signed from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2007 for £19million, Nani enjoyed instant success winning the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in his first season at Old Trafford.
This term has been a different story for the winger having made just three starts in the Premier League, leaving some fans questioning whether he has what it takes to succeed at the Theatre of Dreams.
The Portugal international's inconsistent form was boosted on Tuesday when he fired home the opener against Derby to set United on their way to Wembley where they will face Tottenham in the Carling Cup final.
"Last season was good. I was pleased with my games and my contribution to the team," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"This season I hoped it would be better. When I get my chances my aim is to do better than I did at the start of the season.
"I want to play more. I would like to play more times but it hasn't been the same as last season.
"I feel good when I try to do my best to help the team. In some games I have done well but others I haven't done so well, but this is football.
"Your fitness when you don't play every week suffers. But I am training good and keep preparing for the next match and hope to play.
"My focus is always doing well for the team. If I do that then everything will be going well for me.
"I am still confident. It is difficult when you play one game and then are out for two matches. You want to stay in for a run of matches.
"You really need three, four or five matches for your confidence to build and your fitness to be right. You can do anything when your confidence is high."
The 22-year-old's impressive performance on Tuesday came at just the right time with new boy Zoran Tosic challenging him for a place on United's left wing.
The Serbian international was named on the bench for the Derby clash but wasn't called upon by manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Despite this defender John O'Shea has been impressed with what he's seen.
"Zoran has made a good impression on everybody. His set-piece delivery is excellent. He has a beautiful left foot," he said.
"He is a natural wide player and I am sure he is going to be a joy to watch and a pleasure to play with."