From training with Barcelona, Iniesta and Messi to an elbow and straight red at Bury - Ex-Sunderland boss Niall Quinn on Arnau Riera and when he knew management wasn't for him

Niall Quinn has spoken about Sunderland’s loss to Bury in the League Cup back in 2006.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 7:00 pm

The Sunderland legend had purchased a club in disarray following its relegation to the Championship with Quinn having to appoint himself as manager.

And he didn’t get off to a good start after losing his first four league games.

The misery was compounded further when Sunderland played Bury in the League Cup where they lost 2-0 at Gigg Lane, with new signing Arnau Riera receiving a red card.

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Niall Quinn looks on in his last game as manager of Sunderland during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light.

“You kind of know when you’re not cut out to be a manager,” Quinn said to The Athletic. “I knew a few minutes into a game at Bury that this wasn’t for me.”

“For a few days before the Bury game we changed things around and got a young Spanish player, Arnau Riera, in on a free transfer,” Quinn explains. “He played in the same youth team at Barcelona as Iniesta and Messi, and we thought we would unleash him.

“It was difficult at Bury — you had to go out the dressing rooms, up the stairs and back down to where I needed to be (on the touchline to watch the game).

"By the time I got there, Riera’s running across the pitch. I’m looking at him, going, ‘What’s up with him? Is he going to the toilet or something?’ The nearest person to me said, ‘He’s just been sent off, gaffer’.

“He’d swung an elbow at somebody and got sent off before I’d taken my place in the dugout. I actually do remember looking up (to the heavens) and thinking, ‘You don’t want me to do this, do you?’”

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