McManus glad he stayed put

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Celtic defender Stephen McManus has admitted he is glad he did not quit Parkhead.

McManus came close to quitting Celtic last season after becoming increasingly frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities.

The big centre half has now broken into the side under Gordon Strachan and has impressed in the heart of the defence this term.

McManus is delighted that he waited for his chance and he is pleased at how things are going at present.

"What happens now is down to me. A fair crack of the whip was all I ever asked for," said McManus.

"I got fed up playing for the Under-21s on a Monday so I went to see Martin O'Neill and told him how I felt. He convinced me I could be a Saturday player in time.

"I don't consider myself to be an established first-team player yet. But at 23, I've been given a run of games and the chance to analyse my progress after each one of them.

"At 21, I thought I might be in the position where I'd have to go. Now I consider myself fortunate that didn't happen."