McAteer ready to renew rivalry

By Damian Spellman

Jason McAteer will renew his battle with Millwall's wind-up merchant Dennis Wise insisting there is no ill-feeling.

The pair will go head-to-head in the midfield in the semi-final at Old Trafford on Sunday with a place in the cup final at stake having already locked horns in the league this season.

McAteer was furious at the Millwall player-manager's antics during his side's 2-1 defeat at the New Den back in January and gave vent to his feelings after the final whistle.

However, after years of coming across the now 37-year-old Wise during his days at first Wimbledon and then Chelsea, McAteer knows exactly what to expect this weekend and is relishing the challenge.

"I thought long and hard after that game and at the end of the day, I like to think of myself as a 100 per cent player who gives everything and battles for everything," he said. "When I'm on the pitch, I've got a will to win and sometimes you'll do anything to do it.

"Sometimes I look at Dennis and he's probably out of the same pod. We were just two professionals fighting for three points that day and the battle got a little bit personal - he kicked me in the head and all that kind of stuff - it just got out of hand really and was a little bit silly.

"I look back at the game itself and maybe I got wrapped up in it and didn't really perform that day. I could have played better and I was disappointed with myself that I actually got caught up in that kind of battle.

"Obviously I don't want to go down that road and renew that kind of battle that we had. I've played against him years and years and years. He's always been the same, Dennis.

"He's been a great pro and he's honest. He's been a great professional and he's doing really well at Millwall and it's nice to see that."

The fact McAteer is preparing for a semi-final at all has come as a huge bonus to him after admitting he thought his days at the Stadium of Light might be up as the club's financial problems hit hard after relegation.

Twenty three professionals left, and the Republic of Ireland international revealed that at one point, he feared he would be among them.

"I was actually wondering if I was going to be here myself the way the lads were moving out of here," he said. "When I went down the dressing room and there was no name on my locker, I knew I was in trouble so I just started panicking.

"But the gaffer gave me a chance. I've been with him for years and knows what I am all about.

"We sat down and spoke, because I was injured at the time and my contract is up in the summer and players were moving out left, right and centre. I think we lost 18 players in the last year with the money situation and I thought I was probably going to be a candidate to leave.

"But he stuck by me like he always has done and hopefully I've repaid him in the games that I've been back and played for him.

"I was desperate to stay with Mick. I had my time with Graeme (Souness) and I know what it's like when you get a manager you really want to play for.

"Sometimes they're hard to come by and it makes the job so much easier when you've got a manager you really want to play for.

"Every day, you go in with a smile on your face, and that was the case here."

Suggested Topics
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'