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No regrets for O'Neil

Gary O'Neil returns to Pompey tomorrow for the first time since his transfer deadline day departure in August, but as he told The News he has no regrets about making his switch to Boro - even though he was not left much choice - despite their troubles and feels that the move has benefited him: 'I didn't really have a decision to make, once they started accepting offers for me I knew my time was up.

'I could have said I wanted to stay but they were clearly not desperate to keep me.

'Maybe I was not going to get as much football as I wanted with players Harry signed in the summer so it was probably the best thing to do.

'Gareth Southgate said he had been trying to sign me for ages and kept getting knocked back - until August. It's nice to now feel wanted.

'It's felt like a new lease of life, though, and I've definitely improved.

'The first game I did really well and taken it from there, I've settled in really quickly.

'It's been a massive move and sometimes it can go the other way. But this is the best I have played for a few years and I'm really enjoying it'.

We were all sad to see him leave Pompey after so long, but we all agreed that we felt it was the best thing to have happened for the sake of his career.

He is, as you would expect looking forward to returning so he can finally say goodbye to some people that he was unable to prior to his quickly arranged switch, he can also say goodbye properly to the fans too: 'I am looking forward to tomorrow, it was the first game I looked for when I came up here.

'I've not had the chance to say goodbye to so many people, the move happened so quick.

'So it will be nice to come back and see everyone and hopefully get three points as well.

'Pompey definitely has a special place in my heart, I was there from the age of 13, but I had to leave'.

I have no doubt that he will get a fantastic reception from the Fratton faithful and should he get anything less I would be absolutely astounded as well as disgusted with anyone that would not give him a great reception - a reception that he deserves.

Should he open his Boro account against us, as unlikely and unthinkable as we hope it will be he has already said that he would not celebrate the goal.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 28 2007

Time: 1:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Gary we dont miss you, i think you would have been on the bench for most of the season, even if Utaka played badly. You made the right choice and i hope that you receive a warm welcome tomorrow. We have never forgotten your stirling service to the club.
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 13:09:00

With you on that owens.
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 13:14:00

I wish arry hadnt sold gazza back in september, we were really need some depth on the right with Utaka blowing hot and cold and if he was here he would (or at least should) have played. Also I wonder how good of a replacement right midfielder (which we all know we need) we can get as compared to what we got for him, time will tell how good of a trade it actually was
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 15:50:00

I'm with you all - I'm not sure it's been the best move for Pompey and I agree with Whitestones that had he have stayed then with Utaka form of late GON would have been knocking on the door ... but would Harry have played him ??? I'm positive he'll get a great reception he worked tirelessly for Pompey durng his time here and was and always will be a fans favorite - Good luck GON in your career but I've a feeling you could be playing in the championship next season... Boro are about to fall off the edge of the earth...
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 16:17:00

I was gutted to see GON leave. Not sure if he would have been playing, but I just admirehim for his inspirational commitment while he was here. And a few nice goals too. A belter against Leeds to put us back in the lead after they equalised at Fratton sticks in the memory. I'll be there tomorrow and hope to have the chance to give hima warm welcome. Then I hope we stuf them!
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 22:22:00

for him it was the best thing to move, for us im still not convinced tbh... but maybe me sentiment is clouding my thoughts? it looks like he might miss out, which will be a really big shame.
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 23:20:00

he was compltly right to move - but why boro??? im sure he could have done better!!! sad to see him leave, and sadder still he may not return
Report Abuse
28/12/2007 23:51:00

I dont think he is that good of a player so im not surprised oh him going to boro, he is a solid midfielder for any mid table team (at best), at least boro isnt one of those teams fighting to beat relegation every season (or at least they shouldnt with the amount of money they have blown in the past)
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 05:29:00

Looks like GON won't be fit enough to play against us afterall - shame if he doesn't would have liked to given him a warm reception.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 08:38:00

We did GON a disservice today booing him off, he desreves more than that.
Report Abuse
29/12/2007 18:28:00


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