Onuoha unhappy with 'backseat' role

City defender admits disappointment

Last Updated: 15/05/10 4:54pm

Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha has revealed his disappointment after making only 13 appearances this season.

"Just because you've got money it doesn't mean you have to spend it, but if you are to spend it, spend it well. Make sure it's a player that's going to fit into the team and help the team go forward"

Nedum Onuoha

Quotes of the week

The 23-year-old saw City claim their highest ever finish in the Premier League, but says it was difficult watching the majority of the campaign from the sidelines.

The Eastlands club narrowly missed out on qualification for next season's Champions League after being pipped to fourth by Tottenham, but Onuoha admitted he did not feel part of the club's success or particularly wanted by manager Roberto Mancini.

"It was good to see the club be so successful because I've been there for so long," he told Soccer AM. "But I almost feel like I was taking a backseat to a lot of the action.

"With Mark Hughes I didn't play initially, but I had a feeling that I was going to be playing more and then he lost his job and the new manager came in and I don't know, I just don't think he liked me to be honest.

"I kept myself available and kept myself fit and I was being very professional, but in the end it just wasn't to be."

The Nigeria-born star also had sympathy for team-mate Joleon Lescott who missed out on a place in England's World Cup squad.

"I feel for Joleon Lescott to be honest," he said. "I think the way that he was handled towards the end of the season in terms of injury by sort of management and stuff has almost cost him a place.

"I think it was the week or two weeks before the season ended the manager came out and said he's going to be unavailable for the final two games and that wasn't the case because at the time I think he was coming back into training."

"I was surprised in the final week of the season how he wasn't involved," he added. "I think with someone like, for example, Harry Redknapp throughout the season he's pushing all his players to try and get into the England squad.

"And the players are good enough, and when there's so much noise being made about them you'll end up getting in there.

"You look at Tom Huddlestone for example; he's without doubt now guaranteed to be making the 30-man England squads from now until the end of his career."

Busy

City are once again expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer with owner Sheikh Mansour's pockets appearing to be infinitely deep.

But Onuoha warned the club against buying players that could unbalance the current squad.

"I think sometimes you do need new players," he said. "But the way the squad is now is really good and it's really competitive and you just have to look at how close we came to coming fourth this year.

"Just because you've got money it doesn't mean you have to spend it, but if you are to spend it, spend it well. Make sure it's a player that's going to fit into the team and help the team go forward, as opposed to one which changes the total dynamic of the club."

As well as those arriving at the City of Manchester Stadium in time for the new season there will doubt be a few heading for the exit door.

Head

Stephen Ireland is one name which is constantly being linked with a move away from the club, and this week Mancini said the player 'must change his head' before the new season.

However, Onuoha beleives his team-mate is the ultimate professional and admitted his surprise at his manager's remarks.

"To be honest the general consensus is that his head is probably a little bit too small!" he joked.

"But I heard that and I was a bit surprised to be honest because he's one of the hardest working players I've ever played with. And he's probably the best player I've ever played with as well.

"As you know he's got unbelievable tekkers!"