Former Manchester United player turned coach Nicky Butt has spoken out for the first time on his decision to leave the club earlier this year.
Butt’s departure came just days before John Murtough was appointed the club’s new football director.
Many speculated if Butt’s decision was related to Murtough’s appointment, however, after revealing why he made the decision to move on, it appears the former midfielder just outgrew his role with the club.
Speaking exclusively to MEN, Butt said: “You put [the progress being made] to one side, it’s your own career, when you get to the level I was at, I’d been there as a player for so long, then I went away and came back as a coach and was there again for so long.
“I believe in a working environment you don’t want to stagnate too much, I felt like I was ready for a new challenge whatever that is going to be.
“The time had come, I’d been there on the coaching side for nine years, I felt ready for the next challenge in my football life.
“It came at the right time for me to leave, I left with a smile and I was happy with the success I had at that club, with the help I’d given the young players at the club.
“Developing young people and players is part of what I’m passionate about, without people like that in our lives we wouldn’t be here now, so I was very happy with what I did at the club and there’s a lot of good young players there who will have great careers.”
Going on to praise the work manager and former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done since taking over in 2019, Butt believes the club are finally heading for positive things.
During the last two and a half years, although United have not lifted a piece of major silverware, the end of May could see the side end their barren run.
Currently preparing for a Europa League final against Villarreal on 26 May, Solskjaer will be hoping to lift his first major European trophy.
“He’s done a great job,” Butt said. “He’s galvanised the players, he’s got them moving in the right direction,” he said. “They’re not challenging yet for the title really, although you never know what can happen, but they’re moving forward and that’s all you can ask for in a football club, that you move forward year by year and get better and better.
“You want to get more points, get to more semi-finals and finals and they’ve done that this year, so they’re moving in the right direction.”
Butt’s recent comments echo the sentiments of many United fans who also feel the club are heading in the right direction – in fact, only recently club legend Eric Cantona, who spoke to Sky Sports (as quoted by the Independent) also predicted the Red Devils will ‘soon’ win the Premier League.
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