Shane Ferguson has revelled why he chose not to leave Millwall and fight for his place in the team after being on the verge of leaving the club in the summer.
The Northern Ireland international fell behind both Aiden O’Brien and on loan Ben Marshall in the pecking order last season which brought his future in South London into doubt. Ferguson has revealed in an interview with London Football News that it was his international manager Michael O’Neil who persuaded him to stay at The Den and fight for his place in Neil Harris’ starting XI. That advice went down very well and he has been an ever-present in the side since his reintroduction in October.
The 27-year-old midfielder said he often speaks to O’Neil for advice saying “Micheal has always been great like that, he is always phoning me asking how I am, and I phone him to ask for advice. He was always saying stick with it, see how the start of the season goes.”
Ferguson who never complained publicly or showed any signs of discontent never wanted to leave Millwall saying it would be “hard to walk away” from what has been a successful period for the club, revealing he spoke to Neil Harris in the summer about his future.
“I had a conversation with the manager in the summer and the door was left open for me to choose what I wanted to do really, but at that stage I’d had a lot of good moments with Millwall, getting promoted, and it’s hard to walk away from that.
O’Neil’s advice was taken aboard by Ferguson who said “I said to myself I want to give it another six months to January and we’ll see how it goes from there. I didn’t want to leave with any regrets and it’s worked out quite well.”
After being told he could leave in the summer, Ferguson was only involved in cup matches and limited to substitute appearances until October when suspension to Jed Wallace opened the door against Nottingham Forest a good performance and an assist led to him keeping his place in the team for the following game against Aston Villa where he scored the equaliser and assisted the winner. He has played every game from then through to last Saturday’s dramatic 4-3 defeat at Norwich.
“it was tough not playing at the start of the season, and last season for the last couple of months he admitted before saying “its good playing regular football as it gives you that bit of confidence.”
Ferguson has once again be called up to the Northern Ireland squad and will be hoping to play a part in both the friendly with the Republic or Ireland and the Nations League tie with Austria on Sunday.