REVITALISED Owen Hargreaves admits he was scared before making a triumphant Manchester City debut in Wednesday’s Carling Cup win over holders Birmingham.
The midfielder’s injury-ravaged career looked all but over, having barely played at all in the last three years, until City took a chance and signed the 30-year-old free agent last month.
He repaid their faith in style – and stunned those who had written him off – with a goal and an action-packed 60-minute display as the Premier League high-fliers booked their place in round four.
Hargreaves, who made a YouTube video showcasing his fitness to potential suitors after being released by Manchester United in the summer, concedes he felt nervous about his competitive comeback but insists he never stopped believing he would succeed.
“It has been three years and four months – that is frightening in itself,” he said. “I am not surprised how quickly I was in contention. There was a bit of a misconception and I don’t think people would believe me if I said everything that went on.
“I would never have anticipated all these setbacks in my worst nightmare. You are left to pick up the pieces. That has been the biggest obstacle. It was a pretty humbling experience but I knew this day would come.”