Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Phelan Reveals the 'Frightening' Times with City

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Phelan Reveals the 'Frightening' Times with City

Article excerpt

TERRY Phelan got out of City at just the right time.

He left for Chelsea in 1995 and by 1996 City had been relegated from the Premier League and were rapidly on their way down the English football pyramid.

In 1998, they dropped to the third tier, the lowest point in the club's long history, before years spent yo-yoing between the top two divisions.

It was all very different to when Phelan arrived at City from Wimbledon in 1992.

Peter Reid was in charge and the club was seen as upwardly mobile, with big-name targets being sought.

Phelan was sold the dream of success - but turmoil behind the scenes would see him come nowhere near silverware.

"I could have gone to Barcelona, Manchester United, Ajax, Tottenham - I could have picked my club," Phelan said in an exclusive interview with M.E.N. Sport. "I chose City because I liked what the club was all about and I liked Peter Reid as a player, coach and manager and what he was trying to bring to City.

"It was a no-brainer for me coming back to Manchester.

"But there was too much change and upheaval. There was in-house bickering and fighting. There was a lot of changes in managers. It doesn't help.

"I joined City because I knew we had a squad to challenge for the title, otherwise I wouldn't have joined. Keith Curle wouldn't have joined.

"They went on a mega slide after that. It was frightening."

Having helped Wimbledon win the FA Cup in 1988, Phelan established a reputation as one of the finest defenders in the English game.

Born in Salford, the opportunity to join City was too difficult to turn down. The Pounds 2.5m fee, at the time, was huge. "There was no pressure," he said. "I knew what I had to do - I had to excite the crowd, get the fans off their seats. Some people thought it was too much money, but for me it was about playing and enjoying myself and giving the supporters something - and what great supporters. …

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