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NOBLE STEED

Posted on 21 August 2007  - 12:00

Steed Malbranque may have been awarded man-of-the-match after his two-goal performance in the win over Derby on Saturday, but he knows three points was more important than any individual accolade.

Steed Malbranque may have been awarded man-of-the-match after his two-goal performance in the win over Derby on Saturday, but he knows three points was more important than any individual accolade.

The Frenchman has already equalled last season’s personal Premiership goal tally, and although he has not set any targets for this season, he is happy just to contribute.

But Steed is keen to keep our feet firmly on the ground after Saturday’s 4-0 win, with a tough trip to Old Trafford looming next Sunday.

He said: “Saturday was good for the team because we wanted a good response after the two defeats in a row.

“I may have got man-of-the-match, but I’m mainly happy for the team after a win like that.

“I just want to improve on my goal tally from last year, and last year I was injured for three months. Now I’ve had a good pre-season, and I hope to improve.

“This was great, but we know Manchester United will be a tough game and we need to be focused.”

Meanwhile, Steed revealed why he rushed over to Didier Zokora on the bench after opening the scoring. "Didier was on the bench and he told me I would score and if I was to score, to go over to him after the goal. It was good to have something like that in the team, if one player doesn’t start, it’s not just about the 11 players who do start, but also about the squad."

It was suggested that Steed might do the same for Didier to inspire his fellow midfielder to a first goal. "You never know - perhaps he will score in the next game and come to see me! The spirit is good in the squad and that’s always important."