NEDUM Onuoha watched parent club Manchester City win the FA Cup at the weekend, but insists he had no regrets about missing out on Wembley glory.
The defender could have been involved in the showpiece day in the capital had he stayed at Eastlands, but he has loved his loan move to Sunderland too much to have any regrets on that score.
“I wanted them to do well in the Cup final,” he said. “It’s ironic the moment I leave they achieve something!
“But, to be honest, the way I feel now I would not trade it for the season I have had.”
Onuoha knows he might well be at Sunderland again next season – be it on another loan or a permanent move – and is convinced that Steve Bruce is creating a squad which can challenge much higher up the table next season.
The 24-year-old has revelled in regular first-team football this season and being part of the Premier League’s youngest squad.
“I remember when we played the first game of the season against Birmingham City,” he recalled.
“I don’t think I had played here against Sunderland before. It was fantastic. It was a young bunch of people and they were all very good people as well.
“You could see that right the way through from the players to the backroom staff.
“Everyone at the club was really welcoming. It has been fantastic to walk in every day with a smile on my face.
“It is a club which is quietly ambitious and I know their ambitions can be met with hard work and determination.
“I am sure they can attract decent players. They are just a step away from matching teams like Everton.”
Sunderland would like to have the Nigerian-born defender in their squad next season but are not prepared to pay over the odds and match City’s current asking price of at least £6million.
That has left Onuoha in limbo and, after the West Ham game this Sunday, he plans to take a break and see what the summer brings.
“I cannot sign for anyone or know my future plans until I get my head right,” he said.