Chris Smalling was delighted to play his part in Manchester United's crucial derby success over Manchester City.
Smalling started alongside Nemanja Vidic at the heart of United's defence with first-choice Rio Ferdinand still out with a calf strain.
The former Fulham defender delivered an assured performance at Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson's troops secured the points.
Smalling insisted he was not nervous beforehand as he knew for much of the week he would start in Ferdinand's absence.
"I knew I was going to be playing earlier in the week so I had a lot of time to prepare," he said.
"People have been telling me just what a massive game this is.
"Once I got my first touch it was a case of enjoying it and playing like any other game.
"It was a great occasion and I really enjoyed myself. To win it and play my part is a real joy."
The win moved United eight points clear of their neighbours, who have also played a game more, much to Smalling's delight.
The 21-year-old felt City's leveller through David Silva was lucky and that United deserved to claim the spoils, which were settled by a peach of a goal from Wayne Rooney.
"We all saw the table before the game and knew how crucial this game was," he continued.
"It had been emphasised to us all week, every time we stepped on the training field.
"In the end, we got our just desserts. Their goal was pretty jammy and it would have been a travesty if they had taken anything out of that game."