During a summer where other club captains up and down the country had a higher profile June marriage than our quietly spoken skipper – he could have been forgiven for not keeping his eye on the ball over an uncertain couple of months – but not our Dunnie.
In the second part of our exclusive interview, he told us: “I suppose it’s been as difficult for all the players as much as the fans who have been waiting to hear what’s been going on. It was only in the last week before pre-season training that things got sorted.
“And as things have panned out it’s looking like a bright future for the Club so that can’t be a bad thing.”
With Sven-Goran Eriksson now in place and preparing for his first season in the Barclays Premier League, has Richard spoken much with the new Manager?
“I had a chat with him the first day that he came in and he just wanted to know the ins and outs of the Football Club and why it’s not been too successful of late.
“He’s had a look around now and he sees what he wants. The Manager’s already brought in a few of his own staff and is starting to build the Club in his vision.”
As the fans hear names all the time from the press about who might be joining Dunne in the City dressing room, he moved quickly to reassure Blues supporters looking for new names to put on the back of their shirts.
City’s Player of the Year declared: “Over the next four or five weeks I’m sure the fans will be excited with some of the players that he brings in.
“Sven’s not mentioned any players to me, but I know from some of the names being bandied about in the newspapers, that it does seem quite interesting.
“He’s apparently got a lot of money to spend, but it’s going to be difficult to buy players where clubs know prices can go up because of that, but he’s got a good scouting network around him and he knows players from all over Europe.”
So how does Richard feel about his Manager’s comments from Friday where he exclusively told mcfc.co.uk that he won’t be changing his captain?
“It’s great. It’s nice for him to say that to me, but as much as he says it now, it doesn’t make it any easier for me.
“I’ve got to make sure first and foremost that I’m worthy of a place in the team – by all accounts he has enough money to replace the lot of us!
“It’s up to everyone between now and the start of the season to make sure that they are in the team. Hopefully I can do that and it’ll be nice to lead the team out.”
One player the Irish defender won’t be leading out next season is his long-time centre-half partner, Sylvain Distin, so has Dunne heard much from him since Sven’s appointment?
“I’ve not spoken to him, but I can imagine him now. I don’t know what his thinking behind moving to Portsmouth was but I think there are a lot of people now looking in on Manchester City with envy.
“It seems that we’ve got everything in place, we’ve got a really high profile Manager and an owner worth billions, apparently.
“We seem to have an aim now where we’re going to be aiming for the top of the Premier League. So it could be an exciting couple of years and, hopefully, I’m going to be glad to be part of it.”
Such has been the high-profile return to Carrington with everyone greeted by the flash of the nation’s paparazzi last week, Dunne believes it’s good for City and there’s no such thing as a bad press.
“The publicity has probably trebled from last year,” noted the skipper.
“A lot of the press have negative things to say about Sven, but just for this Club to be in the news is a good thing, so often people will drive past and go up the road to United.
“We’ve obviously now got a character in charge who everyone in the country is interested in and whether you want to see him succeed or fail they still want to know what he’s doing.
“It is something new for the Club and again it just adds to the buzz around the place and the excitement.
“I think the Manager said it himself that it may add extra pressure, but that’s want we want and it’s the whole point, the last few years there’s been no pressure on us because no-one cared if we finish 15th or 14th.
“Whereas now it’s top six or else people might say we’ve failed; so we’ve got a good aim to go for.”
And with a calendar month to the day from the start of the season, Dunne can’t wait to get West Ham in his sights.
He said: “Sitting here now it seems ages away, but it’s about four weeks away. With the excitement of the summer and between now and then, getting a few new faces in that can turn us into a top team. It’ll certainly be a game to look forward to.”