Nedum Onuoha couldn’t have timed the first suspension of his career any worse.
The former City favourite, now with QPR, received two yellow cards in quick succession against Liverpool last weekend and will not play for the Hoops this Sunday.
Onuoha spent 18 years with City after joining the club aged eight and he went on to play 116 games for the club he also supported.
Rangers could have done with his experience on Sunday as they teeter on the brink of relegation – a defeat to City will consign Chris Ramsey’s side to the Championship.
“I’m really disappointed I won’t be involved on Sunday,” said Onuoha. “It’s the first suspension of my career and it’s typical that it should mean I miss this game against City, but that’s football.
I was sent off once before when I was playing for City against Doncaster in the Carling Cup - but that was rescinded the next day!
“It’s going to be tough to get three wins, but we won’t be giving up. Things have gone against us in the games we really needed to win but there are still nine points to play for so we have to try and get them all and see what happens.
“It’s not in our hands but we have to keep believing. Chris Ramsey has brought in a few new ideas to way we play and train which was something we needed. It’s disappointing because we came into the season very positive looking to be productive and get the points we needed as early as possible but it just hasn’t happened for us.”
Onuoha believes City haven’t had such a bad campaign this season, but expects better things next term.
“If City finish second and above United, I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world and I’m sure next season City will be looking to go one better and do well in the Champions League again,” he said.
He also admits that clashes between QPR and City will inevitably evoke memories of the 2011/12 title triumph – a game that he and two other former Blues in Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips played in.
“For me personally, I always remember going into the game thinking about all the possible scenarios for us and City but what happened that day was the only one that went in my favour because we stayed up and City won the title so I got to witness both sides of the emotion,” he said.
“Only four months earlier I’d been part of the City squad that was trying to win the league so for me to see that and be in the stadium I’d called home for so many years and see everyone – both City and QPR fans celebrating – was something very special and you very rarely see that in football. Days like that are few and far between.”