Robbie Brady says that his move to Hull City was a huge weight off his shoulders because of the pressure of playing at a club like Manchester United.
The Republic of Ireland international came through the United youth academy but failed to break into the first team, making just one appearance, as a substitute in a League Cup game against Newcastle last September.
The 21-year-old had two loan spells at the npower Championship club before Alex Ferguson approved a permanent move last month.
“It’s a big weight lifted,” Brady told Goal.com. “You feel as if you have to produce 100% if you want to get any sort of a shot at Manchester United because it’s such a big club.
“But I’m playing well at Hull, the gaffer [Steve Bruce] has faith in me. If I keep playing well I can work my way back to the top.”
The young Dubliner, who won the FAI U-21 International Player of the Year for the second year in a row on Sunday, added that he would like to get back to his boyhood club some day.
He said: “It’s everyone’s dream, I was there and I thought it was time to get out and start playing now but if the opportunity came back around it would be brilliant.
“It’s always disappointing leaving your childhood club that you always looked up to watching but I love the club. I always will love the club and they’ve done so much for me. It was brilliant but I think it was the right time. I’m just glad I’m playing football now.”
Brady made his Ireland debut against Oman last September and has won four caps so far, including a substitute appearance in the 6-1 World Cup qualifying Group C defeat to Germany in Dublin.
Ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Poland, he says he is keen to force his way into manager Giovanni Trapattoni’s starting XI.
“It’s always been my dream to play for my country, especially at home in the Aviva. Coming on [against Germany] was a big achievement in my life. I’m settled here now and looking forward to getting many more caps and helping out with some good wins in the future. It would be good to get a result on Wednesday. I enjoyed every other game that I’ve played so far so hopefully I can get a run out.”
While Brady’s favoured position is on the wing, he has recently been deployed as a left-back and maintains that he doesn’t mind helping out in that position.
“It adds another string to my bow,” he said. “I’ve got people like Paul McShane behind, he plays on my side and he helps me out with the defensive stuff. He gives me tips every now and again, what to do, so it’s brilliant having people like him behind me.”
Brady has made 16 appearances for Hull this year and finds himself among four Irish players at the club, with David Meyler, Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn also plying their trade with the Tigers.
Asked if he felt this fact creates a good atmosphere around the club, he said: “It does help. There’s four or five of us there. It’s a good base. They’re all good lads and we’re good mates on and off the pitch as well so it’s great.”
The Republic of Ireland host Poland in a friendly international at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday February 6.