Daniel James has thanked his Manchester United teammates for guiding him through his transition at the club – but warned Chelsea that United are ready to start the season with a bang.
The former Swansea City winger marked his return to Wales by scoring the winning penalty against AC Milan on Saturday night as the Italians were beaten 5-4 on penalties after being held to a 2-2 draw in the International Champions Cup.
James came on as a substitute at a packed Principality Stadium before coolly slotting the spot kick that gave United their sixth successive pre-season victory.
Now, they prepare to face Chelsea in their opening Premier League match at Old Trafford next Sunday and James said: “I think we have shown a different style of play of that high press that we do with the high ball.
“Today we found it a bit harder, they played great football, have a great midfield, so we found it that bit harder. We sat in a tiny bit. But obviously Chelsea is going to be another big test, but we are going to go full throttle.
“Next week is going to be another test for us, Chelsea will be another hard game. We have shown during pre-season what we are capable of, six (wins) out of six and we are definitely ready for that.
“The boys have been great for me. It was great to get away on pre-season obviously, a tour always helps to get to know the boys a bit more.
“But every single one of them has been amazing with me – they picked me up when I was down. Yeah, it has been great. The performances on the field have shown that.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also been pleased with the way in which James has adapted to life with one of the world’s most scrutinised clubs.
He also revealed that James himself had wanted to be the player who took the decisive kick.
“I didn’t give him the last penalty – I think he wanted it. That’s always a good sign,” said Solskjaer.
“Dan is ready to go. He has had a great pre-season and he has fitted straight into the group, both as a player on the pitch and as a personality in the group. He has been a joy to work with.
“That’s what we want our players to do at Man United – to get people off their seats.
“The other side of it is when you are a defender you don’t really want him running at you with the ball.
“We just have to catch up with him when he crosses the ball because we need to fill that box more often.
“I’m pretty confident he is going to be doing well for us.”