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Jun 6, 2013

Trouble-maker McClean feels guilty

James McClean has admitted to feeling guilty for the trouble he has put his managers Giovanni Trapattoni and Martin O'Neill through in recent years.

The 24-year-old Ireland winger has endured an eventful 18 months since bursting on to the Premier League stage with Sunderland and quickly establishing himself as a full international.

However, having already found himself at the centre of controversy for opting to represent the Republic of Ireland rather than his native Northern Ireland, the Derry-born midfielder has repeatedly landed himself in hot water as a result of messages posted on social networking site Twitter, and his refusal to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt.

Both Trapattoni and former Sunderland manager O'Neill have had cause to reprimand him as a result, and the message appears to have finally hit home.

McClean told sundayworld.com: "Both Martin O'Neill and the manager (Trapattoni) have had a word in the past. I feel a bit bad now because I haven't been the easiest.

"But I take that on board and I think I have matured a bit in the last few months, and I will continue to hopefully do that."

Last season proved a difficult time for McClean as his form on the pitch dipped amid a series of well-publicised off-the-field issues, and he admitted he struggled to adapt to life in the spotlight.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind first six months, amazing, top of the world, and then a lot of things happened in between then," he stated.

"But it will help me as a person. I will learn from all that and it will put me in good stead for the future.

"It was all new to me - I was still the same lad as I was from my time at Derry and that kind of went against me.

"I want to continue to just be me, and what comes with that comes with that. But I have learnt to not say too much."

McClean went on to defend Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio, who recently came under fire from Black Cats defender Titus Bramble.

Bramble insisted that the Italian still had "a lot to learn" to become a top manager in the Premier League.

"That's Titus' opinion, I'll leave that to Titus," he added. "Each manager has their different styles. He came in and he managed to get us safe, so I guess you could say 'job done'.

"Hopefully next season, we can push on and do well."

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