Football: Juninho attempts to improve relations with O'Neill

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The Independent Online
JUNINHO HAS finally held talks with the Celtic manager Martin O'Neill to settle any misunderstandings between the two. The out-of-favour Brazilian is determined to show O'Neill he is wrong to leave him out of his team. Juninho has been frustrated on the bench, reporting he has received no support from O'Neill since his move from Middlesbrough in August.

Juninho accused O'Neill of keeping him in the dark over his decision to drop him and threatened to quit Parkhead during the January transfer window if he had no future at Celtic. But the pair have begun to communicate, and Juninho has renewed confidence he can still be a success this season.

"We had a chat, and I think it was good for both of us to speak about what was happening," the midfielder said. "He explained why he was doing what he was doing, and I told him how I felt. It was a nice chat, and it left us clear on where we were going. It wasn't like I had said anything bad about him in the newspapers - I'd just shown my unhappiness with my own situation."

Juninho does regret speaking out publicly before making his feelings known to the manager. "My only mistake was not to tell him about it first, but when you are upset you don't think clearly about such things," he said. "But I don't think there is any problem between us and I still hope to be a good player for him. I never lose the belief and confidence I have in my own ability. I know I can get back into this team and show everyone why I am here. If I get back into the team, that is what I'm sure I will do."

The playmaker has no intention of leaving Celtic labelled a failure. He said: "People must know that I've come here to be a success and that I'm still determined to do that."