QPR youngster hails Holloway for showing faith in his ability
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QPR and Republic of Ireland youngster Ryan Manning admits he feared he would never get a chance to show his worth at Loftus Road – and he has hailed manager Ian Holloway for giving him the opportunity to shine in the first team.
Manning, who joined Rangers from Galway United back in January 2015, was handed his first ever start for the club against Wolves on New Year’s Day – just days after being handed a squad number.
The 20-year-old has not looked back and, since the last-gasp win at Molineux, he also also been named in the starting line-up for the Rs’ last two league games – which have also ended in victories, against Ipswich Town and Reading.
He told the Times: “It’s been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks to be honest with you. Just to get three games under my belt is great, but for the team to get three wins as well makes it extra special.
“When I first came here the first few months were all about settling in and adapting to the training.
“It was getting more and more frustrating though as I wasn’t getting a real opportunity and I felt I had something to offer the team.
“Luckily for me the change of manager this time around has really worked in my favour.”
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Manning continued: “I knew I’d get a chance to prove myself with the manager we have here now. He’s made a few changes around the place and will be bringing a few more lads in too.
“Thankfully I got the opportunity to show what can I do against Wolves as we had a few injuries, and I took my chance.
“I’ve trained with the first team before in my spell here, but I’ve been full-time with them since the beginning of December.
“That indicated to me that I could well get an opportunity here in the new year. The manager’s given me the encouragment to play my game and he just wants me to maintain the levels that I’ve been showing.”
Manning has been heavily linked with a return to Ireland in recent months, but the midfielder says he never considered a move back to his homeland as he was desperate to prove his doubters wrong.
He added: “In my mind I was never thinking about going back to Ireland, they were just rumours.
“That was never the plan for me because I had played in Ireland for two years when I was 16 and 17, so for me it was about taking the next step.
“I always had faith in my own ability and felt I could play at this level, I just needed someone to believe in me.
“I wasn’t going to leave here without getting a proper chance. I was intent on showing people exactly what I can do, and there’s more to come from me.”
QPR seem to agree – the Times understands the club have already indicated to Manning’s representatives that they would like to open talks over extending his current deal, which expires this summer.
Manning, who made his breakthrough with Mervue United in 2013 before joining Galway a year later and helping them reach the League of Ireland Premier Division, believes Holloway is building a good squad.
“He’s trying to blend a mixture of youth and experience, and we’ve got that at the minute and it’s working,” said Manning. “We have legs in midfield but we have Championship experience in abundance too, and that’s exactly what we need to grind out wins.
“I feel like there’s a really good team spirit at the club and hopefully we can continue building that.”