Marcus Rashford admits he was always prepared for the possibility of not making it as a Manchester United player and having to seek pastures new.
The forward came through the ranks at Old Trafford and has become a leading light.
His two-goal debut back in 2016 put him firmly on the radar and he has grown in importance ever since.
Rashford is particularly proud of his academy background, which has long been a part of United’s culture.
But the 23-year-old concedes he wasn’t naive to the future despite his desire to play for the Red Devils.
“You always believe you’re going to make it as a footballer because you have to, if that’s what you’re trying to do,” he told the club’s official website.
“But making it at United is different to making it as a footballer. As a youngster, you have to prepare yourself for not making it at United, just in order for not getting too down if it doesn’t happen.
“It enables you to keep going. To play for United is a massive achievement for me and I feel really proud to be here.”
Rashford has spent just over five years in the first team and made over 250 appearances. He has scored 85 goals in that time.
The forward spoke about the need to be in a good place mentally, as well as physically, to perform at his optimum level.
“You have to be in a state where you’re relaxed and mentally prepared to go out and perform on the biggest stages,” he explained.
“Once you do the work and find out what works for you, it’s about doing that every time there is a game, not letting other things distract you, things that are happening off the pitch, whether it’s family or friends.
“You know, once you step onto the pitch, focus has to be on that game.
“You can’t think of the next game or the last game, you have to be focused on the task ahead.”