Vignal laments Liverpool exit
Birmingham defender Gregory Vignal admits his decision to leave Liverpool is something he will always regret
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 06/11/09 4:23pm
Gregory Vignal confesses his decision to leave Liverpool is something he will always regret as the Birmingham defender prepares to return to Anfield for Monday's Premier League clash.
Vignal spent five discouraging seasons with the Reds after his £500,000 move from Montpellier in 2000 which eventually led to a free-transfer switch to Portsmouth.
The French left-back made only a hatful of first-team appearances before being farmed out on numerous loan spells after failing to dislodge the then Reds regular John Arne Riise.
The last of those loan spells was a season at Ibrox with current boss Alex McLeish and Vignal is enjoying playing under the stewardship of the Scottish tactician again.
"I had played with the gaffer before at Rangers," he said. "He pushed me a lot.
"When you like and respect the manager, you want to give everything for him and he knows how to talk to me, how to push me. It's better for me because I know what he expects.
"He is very good psychologically with the players, very motivational, like he was at Rangers."
Vignal, on loan at St Andrews until the end of the 2009/2010 campaign, faces strong competition for his left-back role after Liam Ridgewell's successful conversion from a central defender in recent games.
But the Lens man, now available for selection again after a hamstring problem, is hoping to push for a starting berth on Monday night, although the 28-year-old admitted he should have been more patient when he was on Merseyside.
"I should have stayed longer at Liverpool and been patient but, when you are young sometimes you don't realise things," Vignal said in hindsight.
"I only played a few games at Liverpool, and when you are young, you want to play every game.
"I should have said 'Gregory, be patient, your time will come, you cannot play all the games'.
"When you get older, you realise that with extra experience because Liverpool are a massive club."
Vignal added: "Do I regret leaving? Yes. I should have never left Liverpool.
"After Rafael Benitez came in, I went on loan to Rangers but, when you play for a club like Liverpool, you realise how massive it is."