The Greg Cunningham Interview EXCLUSIVE
Sunday 12 Dec 2010 12:01:00
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Irish full back Greg Cunningham yesterday issued a heartfelt plea to Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini when he said “Please let me play in the biggest game of my career.”
Cunningham is on loan at Leicester City from the Manchester side and the two teams are due to clash in a televised FA Cup third round tie on January 9th.
Players cannot line out against parent clubs in a Premier League clash but FA Cup rules are believed to be different, and Cunningham really wants to be in Sven Goran Eriksson's starting eleven at the Walkers stadium.
The Galway native revealed, “I have spoken to Sven this week and he told me that if my loan is extended to the end of the season then Mancini has said I can play, but despite what has been in the media that extension has not been confirmed just yet.
“Jamie O'Hara was in the same situation in last seasons semi final when he was on loan at Portsmouth from Spurs and they clashed, so it's not unique, but I am really anxious to play in the match.
“My concern is that here at Leicester we have Bruno Berner the Swiss international left back and if he gets in for the cup tie and does well he'll be difficult to shift.”
Cunningham is loving life at Leicester and has been hugely impressed by former England manager Eriksson.
“Being around him you can see just why he has some of the best jobs in the world game, he got one simple thing right as soon as he arrived at the club and that is our organisation, he is letting us play and letting us express ourselves, but there is a basic shape and pattern to what we do and he never lets us forget that.
“Contrary to what people seem to think he is a very hands on manager, he gets stuck in on the training ground, he doesn't just stand back and watch, and whatever he says to you it is clear straight away it makes sense.
“This club is a Premiership side in everything but name, our home game against Reading was the only crowd we had below twenty thousand, the fans are turning up in numbers and being honest I think we will be in the Premiership next season.
“It is a very very tight division but the players believe in Sven, I mean that we really believe in him, and some of the football we have played has been exceptional, against Nottingham Forest we were absolutely brilliant at times.
“I didn't realise just how big a match Leicester Forest is until the lead up to it, it is the biggest derby in these parts and it was some atmosphere.”
Cunningham was in the Academy when Eriksson was in charge at Manchester City, “I was in my first year there, but he told me he spoke to Mr Trappatoni about me and was encouraged to sign me, which was great to hear.
“As regards the Ireland set up I am mad keen to cement down the left back role, right now I am ina proper battle for the position with Kevin Kilbane and there's nothing wrong with that.
“If the position is up for grabs I know I am playing well enough to be in Trappatoni's thoughts and after that it is all about performance.
“I am relying a lot on Italian managers funnily enough, I'll be hoping to hear good news from Roberto Mancini this week, at least I hope it's good news.

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