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 Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 20:17 GMT
Veron admits struggles
Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron
Veron scored the opener against Arsenal
Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has admitted he has struggled to settle in England.

The Argentina international moved to Old Trafford from Lazio in July 2001, but has yet to show the sort of form that persuaded manager Sir Alex Ferguson to pay a club record 28.1m fee.

He has come in for some fierce criticism, but his recent displays have suggested he may finally be adapting to life in the Premiership.

The team has not changed but our attitude has

Juan Sebastian Veron

"It has taken me time to settle. Frankly I didn't play well last season," said Veron.

Veron has been a part of a rejuvenated United side that has got their title challenge back on track in recent weeks, despite being without the likes of Roy Keane and David Beckham.

He scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win over Arsenal and the 27-year-old remains determined to make a success of himself in England.

"I want to show what I can do this season," he added. "When I arrived here I had a lot of success, so this is a new challenge.

"I think any criticisms that have been made of me, I have always been ready to take those on board. I would say sincerely I have not been affected by them.

"I always try to do well in any game. There is a saying in Argentina that not everything is beautiful in football. You have to take the rough with the smooth.

"It is my belief I have had the confidence of my team-mates, the technical staff and the manager. I have always been conscious of that.

"But obviously when you play well in a key game like Arsenal it always gives you a lot of personal confidence, a real boost in that respect.

"Hopefully things will carry on improving as a result."

Derby defeat

Veron echoed Ferguson's earlier comments that the turning point in United's season came after their derby defeat at the hands of Manchester City last month.

"That defeat hurt our pride," added Veron, who was well below par in the 3-1 loss at Maine Road. "We talked a lot among ourselves.

"The team has not changed but our attitude has.

"I am not saying it was wrong before, but you have to remember just because you are wearing the Manchester United shirt you are not guaranteed victory."

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