Laird is fully committed to helping MK Dons finish as best they can
"I came here to make a difference because I felt I could make a difference, and the manager did as well"
Ethan Laird might be a Manchester United player on loan, but he sees himself as an MK Dons player until he is told otherwise.
The 19-year-old has barely missed a beat since signing in January, making 17 appearances as a regular at right wing-back for Russell Martin's side.
Though he is in regular contact with his managers at Old Trafford, Laird says he is fully invested in how Dons finish the season with nine games remaining, and his main goal is to ensure they finish as high as possible before he returns to the Red Devils in the summer.
"Getting us as high as possible is why I'm here," said the 19-year-old. "I'm hugely invested in the team because I'm playing, so I always want the best for us.
"That's the goal. I came here to make a difference because I felt I could make a difference, and the manager did as well.
"During this loan spell, I feel like I've grown into a man. I'm having to look after myself, I'm a lot further from home, it's the real world, fending for yourself. It's a great experience for me and I'm getting a lot from it."
Not only is he gaining first-team experience at Stadium MK, Laird said it's the realisation of his ambitions, and he is playing with a smile on his face because he is able to do what he loves on a regular basis in a team where he feels appreciated.
He said: "How can I not (smile) – I'm playing football! A few years ago, that was a struggle for me because I wasn't playing due to injury. Now I'm in a proper team, with a proper team camaraderie, the chemistry is high, we're all fighting for each other, it's a really good place to be. That's why you see me enjoying myself.
"I know even if the worst has happened to me, someone will be there for me, and vice versa. And playing football, I just love it because it's what I've been doing for so many years, and my hobby has become my job. I have to keep smiling."