Irish defender Paul McShane, pictured, has shed some colourful light on his decision to leave Manchester United in 2005 after it became increasingly clear his opportunities at Old Trafford would be severely limited.
“There was a lot of competition at United — the likes of Jonny Evans and Gerard Pique,” he recalls.
“I got that. Your sixth sense picks up those things. I had a year left on my contract at Man United and I went in to see Alex Ferguson. I ended up handing in a transfer request to go. They were interesting times!
“There’s a lot of stories going around about me in those meetings. There’s one when I supposedly offered Gerard Pique out for a race in the car park because Alex Ferguson had said he was quicker than me.
“These stories have a habit of growing arms and legs but I was desperate to play. I’d seen people at Man United coming back from loans and rotting away in the reserves after playing senior football. My only aim was improving all the time so I felt as though I had to do it.
“People will say you’ve got to want it but I reckon I wanted it too much. I’ve probably matured and I’m ready to go with the flow a bit more now, but the Premier League is where every single player would love to be.”
This season McShane is close to a return to the top-flight, the full-back enjoying a strong run of form under manager Steve Bruce as Hull City continue their push for automatic promotion from the Championship. However, in a potential blow to his club and country ambitions, McShane is now anxiously waiting to learn the extent of a hamstring injury which saw him limp off in the Tigers’ 1-0 win against Charlton on Saturday.
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