Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday August 13 2009
Despite City's open pursuit of central defenders which has so far seen Kolo Toure boost the squad's options, Nedum Onuoha and Richard Dunne resolve to soldier on...
City skipper Dunne has been a Blue since 2000 very often helping to secure City's top flight status almost single handedly, repeatedly voted the club's Player Of The Year in the process.
There's little doubt that he had a shocking last season and as the summer has worn on, talk of him inevitably leaving has intensified.
Yet, to the big man's credit, as Mark Hughes openly talks of his unstinting intention to sign Everton's Joleon Lescott, he remains steadfastly loyal to the Blue cause:
'I want to stay at City. I'm excited by the project here and want to be part of that.
'I've been assured I don't have to leave and the manager never said I had to go. These are exciting times.'
Meanwhile, MCFC Academy graduate Nedum 'The Chief' Onuoha who has been sidelined with a thigh strain in the latter pre season games also commits to stake a claim for a first team place. Bearing in mind that the powerful England Under 21 stopper's return to the heart of City's defence last January saw the team's fortunes stabilise, his remarks are a tonic for the troops:
'You get excited to hear about these people coming in. It's easy to forget that ten years ago we were in Division Two. Even though we have signed someone in my position, I believe we will all get a fair chance to try to make our way into the team. It's not just a case of having to play a player simply because we bought him.
'That will be fine by me. Most successful teams are based around their squads.'
In a year where the likes of fan's favourites Elano, Martin Petrov and Valeri Bojinov have all moaned to hacks about their preparedness to leave the club if they don't get regular first team starts, the two City lionheart's comments are all the more admirable.
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Date:Thursday August 13 2009
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