SUNDERLAND chairman Niall Quinn has revealed that a pre-season pep talk with Andy Reid led to the midfielder shedding over a stone as part of his self-imposed summer training regime.
I thought it was his brother when he turned up for training, quipped Quinn, who urged Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni to acknowledge Reids improved physique by handing the winger a second chance at international level.
The Ireland boss has not selected Reid following an incident in the team hotel after a World Cup qualifier victory over Georgia last September.
Quinn has been angered by Trapattonis recent attempts to persuade Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland to end his self-imposed exile from international football while disregarding Reids claim.
Its funny as there is a lot of talk about working hard to get people (Stephen Ireland) who wont put a jersey on and you have a guy here (Andy Reid) who is literally bursting a gut to stick a jersey on him, said Quinn.
I think there is an injustice there. All I can say is come along and youll see a guy who has turned over a new leaf. Quinn also revealed he offered Reid an ultimatum at the end of last season: Basically I asked Andy if he wanted to be remembered as a guy involved in two relegations and a nearly man who people said had all this great skill which didnt materialise
Or did he want to have a great seven or eight years in your career He took it by the scruff of the neck."