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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Silvestre sweet on prospects
Mikael Silvestre
Silvestre is keen to play in central defence
Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre insisted the club's current squad is stronger than it has ever been.

The new-look United began their defence of the Premiership title with an emphatic 4-0 win over Bolton at the weekend.

Teenage star Cristiano Ronaldo announced his arrival in the United ranks with a dazzling performance, helping to smooth over the loss of David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron.

And Silvestre insisted the club's new signings would lead to even more silverware.

"Overall I feel this squad is stronger than it has been in the past," said Silvestre.

"We have signed some good young players who have plenty of quality and we are feeling good at the moment.
I prefer playing at centre-half because I have more influence on the team
Mikael Silvestre

"If any team is to be successful, you need to be strong in central positions, defence, midfield and attack."

Silvestre, who joined United from Inter Milan for 4.5m in 1999, hopes to cement his role in the centre of defence alongside Rio Ferdinand.

"I get on very well with Rio," said the 26-year-old Silvestre.

"We have the same body language on the pitch, we are both responsible for marking and generally we do the same job.

"I prefer playing at centre-half because I have more influence on the team and that is where I hope to play in the future.

"In the centre, you can see more of the game and you are more in control of the decisions you make. Also you can push forward at corners and free-kicks, which can help you score a few more goals."

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