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Dion Dublin Q & A.

I'm so happy

at Coventry

You cost Coventry pounds 2million but did you look on it as a downward move?

A lot of people saw it that way, but it has turned out to be a great move for me. I've got a new role and I'm playing for a great team who all work hard but have fun.

The only real difference between United and City is the expectation. At United, nothing less than a Cup will do, while at Coventry, just being in the top ten is more our dream.

How would you feel if you were relegated?

"That's not an issue. We're too good and we simply won't get relegated. On our day we can beat anyone.

I know we're in a bad position, but I'm confident we'll be OK and, with the players we've got now, should be a force next season.

I'm just glad I've got a second chance.

How did you manage to go from humble Cambridge to Old Trafford?

Alex Ferguson saw my performances against United when we played them in two League Cup ties and my then manager John Beck also produced a video of my greatest goals - I scored 76 in 176 starts for Cambridge - which he circulated to clubs showing an interest me. It all went from there. United doubled their pounds 1million when they sold me to Coventry and Cambridge also got an extra pounds 190,000 because they had a percentage deal of any future transfers.

Why did you decide you wanted to leave Old Trafford?

On my return from injury I found myself playing in the reserves. As time went on, I knew that if I wanted to forward my career I had to move on. It was a tough decision because I truly enjoyed my time at United, and left behind some great friends, but I was going nowhere.But the then Coventry manager, Phil Neal, stepped in at the start of the 1994-95 season and took me to Highfield Road for pounds 2million.

The Coventry fans probably wondered who the hell I was."They must have thought it was a lot of money for someone who'd made seven starts, and scored two goals, in two years. But, to be honest with you, I was prepared to listen to anyone, and I mean anyone."

Your decision to sign for Coventry made quite an impact didn't it?

I was driving back to Manchester on the M6 after talking terms with the club when my Vauxhall Calibra was involved in a shunt. I think my mind must have been on other things.

Luckily there was only front end damage to my car.

My dream was shattered

You only made seven starts for Manchester United in two years. WHy did it all go wrong?

I signed for United in the summer of 1992 and started the first three games of the season. I was up front, partnering Mark Hughes. I scored on my debut at Southampton but in the third game, at home to Crystal Palace, I broke a leg and was then out for over six months.

I remember the tackle as if it happened yesterday. I was in the middle of the field with my back to the goal when Eric Young tackled me from behind. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

United stars helped me

Do you ever regret your two-and-a-bit seasons at Old Trafford?

Despite all the difficulties, everyone at United was brilliant towards me. "I know I did not get many games and I scored only twice for the first team. "But it turned me into a far better player. And it's no wonder that happened, is it, when you get the chance to work alongside the likes of Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs and Bryan Robson.

Where did you begin your career?

I started at Norwich in 1987, but went to Cambridge after just one season on a free transfer when I was 19. While I was there we climbed two divisions and reached the Premiership play-offs.

You come from a musical background but are you musically inclined?

My father was a member of Showaddywaddy. When I broke my leg I started to learn to play the saxaphone. I'm serious about it and work hard on it. I have weekly lessons and can play quite a few songs now.

If Coventry avoid the drop, there still could be some bad news for them at the end of the season.

I can see myself joining the band at the club ball to play a few numbers on my sax!

You have missed seven matches this year through a double ban after twice being red-carded. How did you spend your time?

I went to every game, home and away to shout encouragement to the lads from the dug-out. And Gordon Strachan suggested I helped out by coaching the youngsters at the club's Centre of Excellence.

He just asked if I fancied going down there a couple of nights a week and I really enjoyed it. I taught passing, shooting and all the other basic skills. It was a good experience for me.

Did you once play in front of Nelson Mandela?

It was in South Africa and it was my first start for Manchester United after breaking my leg 11 months before. We beat Kaiser Chiefs 1-0 in Johannesburg's FNB Stadium. And I got the goal!

WHO'S your favourite striker?

It's got be Eric Cantona. He's definitely the King.

WHERE were you born?

In Leicester on April 22, 1969.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 10, 1997
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