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How Ryan Manning Caught QPR Manager Ian Holloway's Eye

How Ryan Manning Caught QPR Manager Ian Holloway's Eye
By PJ Browne Updated

If Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had not been shown the Loftus Road door earlier this season, it's tough to tell where Ryan Manning's career would be right now.

The 20-year-old was not in the picture during the Dutchman's reign and there was a real possibility of him leaving the club without even making a senior first team appearance.

Instead, Hasselbaink was sacked, Ian Holloway was installed as manager and seven weeks later Manning was making his QPR debut.

In an interview with The Herald, Holloway says that Manning caught his eye during a U23 game when he put in a crunching tackle. That and some moaning senior players opened the door for the Galwayman.

I had some of my senior players in the team and, all of a sudden, right by me, Ryan has put the bloke up in the air, the bloke came down with snow on him, Ryan got right underneath him, it was a really good tackle. And I just thought: wow, this kid wants it.

A couple of days later I had two or three players telling me, 'ooh, I could player but I have this [ache]'. I just lost my temper and thought, 'I am not taking you, I am bringing this kid in.'

It's an opportunity Holloway has grasped with both hands. He's now a first team regular at QPR. When Martin O'Neill names his Ireland squad on Monday for this month's games against Wales and QPR, it certainly would not be a surprise to see Manning on the list.

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Holloway says that he sees Manning as a 'special talent', one who could easily make the transition to Premier League football and international football.

He could easily come in and play against Wales but I'm not going to tell Martin O'Neill what to do.

I see Ryan day in, day out. I have had some wonderful players and, in my view, Ryan is up there with them. I don't know who else Ireland have to pick from but it's only a matter of time before he gets into the international team, never mind the squad, he is that good. He is a special talent.

The QPR manager described Manning as having a 'wand' for a left foot and that his athleticism opens up the options for where he can play on the pitch. Holloway says it could be as part of a midfield three or anywhere on the left, including as an attacking fullback - 'a bit like Seamus Coleman who was fantastic for me at Blackpool.'

See Also: Dimitri Payet Reveals Why He Forced Move Away From West Ham

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