Shane’s “gut feeling”

SHANE O’Connor had a “gut feeling” that he should stay at Ipswich Town, rather than agree to be farmed out on loan.

SHANE O’Connor had a “gut feeling” that he should stay at Ipswich Town, rather than agree to be farmed out on loan.

And the young Irishman’s decision was vindicated by his man-of-the-match performance, on his long-awaited return to the team against Leicester City last weekend.

The 20-year-old left-sided specialist could have left Portman Road, on a loan deal last month, but instead he is now looking forward to making a big impact in Roy Keane’s team.

“There was a chance to go out on loan, earlier on in the season,” confirmed O’Connor.

“I spoke to the gaffer and he said to go with your gut feeling.

“My gut feeling was to stay, because I knew a lot could happen over Christmas with injuries and suspensions.

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“I just had a feeling not to go, so I told him I wanted to stay and the manager said – fair enough, stay and fight for your place – which I did,” added O’Connor.

The former Liverpool Academy player who, like his boyhood hero Keane, was born in Cork, could hardly have wished for a better return to the team, after more than three months out of the starting line-up.

“I was delighted to get a start. It was a bit surprising,” admitted O’Connor, who was involved in all three goals against Leicester.

“The manager’s very fair. If you keep your head down and you work hard, he always acknowledges you. I seem to be a bit lucky, because when I get back in the team, we seem to win. It was the same last year.”

After being released by Liverpool, O’Connor was faced with the prospect of returning to his native Ireland, with his dreams of making it as a professional footballer hanging by a thread.

But he kept nagging Keane for a trial with Town, and his persistence paid off.

“When I left Liverpool, I had nowhere to go, I didn’t know many people in football,” explained O’Connor.

“I sent Roy a few texts and gave him a few calls, and when he got the job, I thought it was my only chance really. I was lucky he brought me over and gave me a trial.”

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