Eagles soaring towards the top flight thanks to words of wisdom from Manchester United boss Sir Alex
19 May 2009 02:51
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Chris Eagles left Manchester United last summer with the inspirational words of Sir Alex Ferguson ringing in his ears.
So the old sage of management will afford himself a wry smile when Burnley's £1million signing lines up against Sheffield United in the play-off final next week as he bids to crown a superb breakthrough campaign.
Eagles said: 'When I left United Sir Alex Ferguson said to me "go and show everyone what a good player you are".
'It was a hard decision to leave United because I'd been there since I was 14, but I needed to go out and make a name for myself in football.
'I didn't want to stay there and be a squad player, just to say I play for Manchester United.
'I've scored seven goals this season and created a lot more.
I've shown people that I'm just not a big-time Charlie and that I meant business coming here.
'Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown have all been sending me messages this season telling me how well I've been doing, but I won't be happy until I'm playing against them regularly.'
As a youngster at Old Trafford, Eagles, 23, was dubbed the new David Beckham because of his brooding good looks and similar playing style to the flamboyant former England captain.
Yet a lack of opportunities prevented him making good on his potential.
However, the move to Turf Moor seems to have injected the necessary impetus into his career which led to Wigan and Everton both making enquiries in January about his services.
Both were given short thrift by Clarets boss Owen Coyle who has brought his team within 90 minutes of ending their 38-year exile from the top flight of English football.
However, the London-born midfielder is excited at the prospect of returning to the Premier League as he starts to explore his reservoir of talent.
Eagles added: 'I was never fazed by the comparison with Beckham and in fact I took it as a compliment that people thought parts of my game were as good as his.
'I always had the talent but Owen Coyle is now bringing it out of me. I want to repay his faith in me and get Burnley back where they belong.
'I heard that there might have been some interest in me earlier this year but I've concentrated on my game and will leave that stuff for other people to talk about.'