Irish player Stephen Ireland has revealed how Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson snubbed him during a trial at Old Trafford.

Ireland - who now plays for derby rivals Manchester City - says he had no regrets about turning down a spot with the Red Devils.

"I only met Fergie once. I said 'hello' to him one day so he knew straight away I was Irish. He told me he has enough Irish players with Roy Keane and Denis Irwin, so I guess that was another hint for me to hit the road."

Ireland, now 23, did a trial spell at United when he was 15 and he says the atmosphere was awful.

"Every day there I'd be training with a different bunch of kids. I didn't know who I was meant to be impressing, who my coaches were and I just felt all over the place.

"I didn't know where I stood at United... I just didn't like it."

Ireland instead joined Manchester City where he has played more than 100 League games.

He says he feels his career improved at City where he was able to make the first team rather than being at United where he says kids are loaned out to lower league teams.

"At United you see so many young players go out on loan, season after season, without making the first-team. I couldn't do that. I've always wanted to play first-team football and thankfully I've managed that at City."

"I grew up supporting United so maybe my expectations were too high when I went there. But as soon as I can to City it felt right and I could see myself being where I am now.

Manchester City take on Manchester United at Old Trafford at 1.30 p.m. English time Sunday.