Manchester United striker Federico Macheda says if he wants to have a future at the club he will have to be patient.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lead the Premier League table with 55 points from 22 games, seven ahead of local rivals and reigning champions Manchester City.
The arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal in the summer has played a large part in that lead, with the Dutchman grabbing his 17th league goal of the campaign against Liverpool on Sunday.
Macheda accepts that competition for places in the starting XI is fierce, even if he feels he has time on his side still to make an impression.
“I have to push myself and train hard every day,” Macheda told the club’s official website.
“Of course, in front of me, I’ve got top, top players like Robin, Wayne (Rooney); Chicha (Javier Hernandez) and Welbz (Danny Welbeck) as well.
“It’s hard for me to get in the first team but I have to train hard for myself for the future. I’m still only young.”
Having been sent out on loan to Sampdoria in Italy and QPR over the past two seasons, shortly after his arrival at both clubs they changed their managers, resulting in less playing time for the 21-year-old, but Macheda believes the next short-term spell away from Old Trafford he has will be a success.
He added: “I had very bad luck with the loans but I think it helped me a lot. I think it helped me to gain experience in general.
“If I go out again on loan, I’m sure I will do well. I have been away two times already and, if it happens again, I’d look forward to getting playing time because maybe I made some mistakes but now I understand, I will take the chances I will have.”