Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Joining Cats Right Move for Bardsley

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Joining Cats Right Move for Bardsley

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

PHIL Bardsley has admitted it was a big wrench to leave Manchester United but the full-back believes he has found the next best thing under Roy Keane at Sunderland.

Bardsley became the latest in a long line of new arrivals at the Stadium of Light with Manchester United connections this month and the 22-year-old is adamant the Black Cats were his perfect destination once it became clear he was not going to make the grade with the Red Devils.

Having seen Keane demand consistently high standards when he was a team-mate of the Irishman at Old Trafford, Bardsley is confident he will find the same attention to detail, ambition and professionalism he enjoyed coming through the ranks with the reigning Premier League champions.

"He's a great role model because of his character and his will to win," said Bardsley, who enjoyed a fine debut for the Wearsiders in the 2-0 win over Birmingham City on Tuesday night. "If you look at the success Man United have had he's been the basis of that.

He was the core of the team. And I think he's brought that here to Sunderland. The way we rolled our sleeves up against Birmingham showed that. It was a wrench to leave Manchester United, but you can't kid yourself. You've got to look at things, assess things. You've got to be big and brave to make decisions. I just felt it was the time to move on."

Bardsley spent much of his time at Manchester United on loan trying to play enough first-team football to prove he deserved a chance to show what he could do at Old Trafford.

That chance never came and when Danny Simpson, who spent six months on loan with Sunderland last season, moved ahead of him in the pecking order behind Gary Neville and Wes Brown, Bardsley knew it was time to leave.

He explained: "I had limited opportunities, but obviously there are so many great players there. There comes a time when you've got to look for the next challenge and Sunderland was a challenge I couldn't turn down. …

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