NEWCASTLE UNITED's Nicky Butt spent 13 seasons at Manchester United and the midfielder has admitted his desire was to finish his playing days at Old Trafford, writes Paul Fraser.

Butt arrived at St James' Park in the summer for £3.5m after it became clear he was no longer going to play a major part in Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

The 29-year-old is now relishing his new role and he will feel the benefit of playing regular first team football today when he plays for England against Wales at the place he still calls home.

Butt missed out on Euro 2004 with a knee injury but he will be asked to play in Steven Gerrard's midfield position this afternoon.

"I am a local lad and my dream was to finish my career at the club," said Butt. "Obviously that has not happened but I don't feel any bitterness. If someone had said to me you are going to have 13 years at Manchester United and win the trophies I did I would have snatched their hands off.

"In the end though, I am a professional football player and I want to play football. There is nothing worse for a footballer than to train five or six days a week and not get a reward with a game. You just want to feel wanted.

"I went to see the manager. He was honest with me and there were no fall-outs. He understood I needed to play."

And Butt claims he would not have left United for many other clubs. "The main thing is I have moved to a club I wanted to join. If I was going to leave Manchester United, I knew it would have to be for someone who interested me.

''I did not want to make a snap decision and just sign for any club. As soon as Newcastle came in, they were the ones I wanted to go to. It is a massive club and the fans are amazing.

''Manchester United is close to my heart, the supporters will always be there for me. I respect so many people at the club and obviously have a lot of friends there but playing for them is in the past now. I am a Newcastle player and happy to be so."

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