Sean O'Shea by Sean O'Shea
Stephen Ireland slams Man. City manager Mancini, says he was never given a chance
Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 12:56 PM
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Stephen Ireland says he felt unwanted at Manchester City and no matter what he tried to do manager Roberto Mancini was never going to give him a shot.
Ireland , 24, is now with Aston Villa as part of a deal that brought James Milner to Manchester City
"I was banging my head against a brick wall despite what I had done in training.
"I just went with the reserves, worked hard in the gym and kept as active as possible.
"Without a shadow of doubt the situation I found myself in will happen a lot at Manchester City with all the high-profile players they have at the club.
"At Manchester City sitting on the bench I didn't feel part of the team. I was neither happy or sad if we lost.
"I'm still young and hopefully Villa will get the best of me and I am now looking forward to the season."
The Republic of Ireland player, also warned Milner he may not have it all his own way at City.
: "I can see why he wanted to go to Manchester City.
"He can see the attraction of the move and the opportunity to become more established and become a superstar.
"But he faces a challenge of holding down a regular first-team place.
"I may have been forced out but I couldn't be more happy to be at Aston Villa.
"Richard Dunne is a good example of what can happen after leaving Manchester City to join Villa.
"A year on I can see how happy he is at Villa and I'm hoping that I will be as happy in a year's time.
"Richard was a huge part of Manchester City and it was a great shock to see him leave.
"It was as big a shock to him as everyone else but he could not have come to a better club as he proved with his performances last season.
"For me this is a positive, as this is exactly I want it to be."
Villa's caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald said: "Stephen Ireland is a very talented player.
"He is different from James Milner who is a power player.
"James has the drive to break the game up. He probably doesn't get into the box as much as Stephen Ireland. I think he glides across the pitch.
"I remember the first time I saw him training with the Republic of Ireland.
"I just thought I hadn't seen the kid before. He glides past people and rides tackles easily.
"His awareness of where his team-mates are on the pitch is fantastic and his choice on the weight of pass is one of his real plusses."
As for his own future, MacDonald stated "It's been nice so far but I am a reasonably intelligent man that I would know whether to accept or decline the job.
"I have no problem with the timescale as Mr Lerner (Villa's owner Randy Lerner) will be looking seriously at what he wants to do."