Keegan hails Ireland defender Dunne

 

Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan has hailed the resurrection of defender Richard Dunne.

The Republic of Ireland international has emerged as one of the few star performers during City's 11-match slump that has sent them tumbling into the wrong half of the Premiership and out of two cup competitions.

Dunne is an unlikely hero given Keegan was on the brink of letting him leave the club just over 12 months ago following a series of disciplinary problems.

Even though he recovered his form to win a place in Keegan's line-up towards the back end of the campaign, the 24-year-old's Blues' future again looked bleak when he found himself out of the side at the start of this season.

His only start in the first 14 games was the UEFA Cup qualifying round tie with Total Network Solutions in Cardiff when the City boss fielded virtually a reserve side.

However, since winning a recall for the Carling Cup win over QPR at the end of October, Dunne has been an ever-present and made his 16th appearance in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last Sunday.

Once again, the former Everton player was one of City's best performers and Keegan can only hope the rest of his squad start to match Dunne's example.

"Richard has gone to hell and back and everyone knows that," said Keegan. "But he is now showing the potential he first showed years ago when he was at Everton.

"He has done some silly things in the past but his last six or seven games for us have been outstanding. Unfortunately, those performances have got lost in some poor results but the lad can only do his best.

"What we have got to do now is start to get the confidence back into the other players who are capable of better than they have been producing."

PA