Limerick FC’s Turner happy with improved game time

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Limerick FC v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier DivisionLIMERICK FC midfielder Ian Turner is happy to be back in regular action at his new club, whom he joined during the summer after a frustrating spell on the sidelines at Cork City.

The 25-year-old said that the chance to move to the Super Blues was a “no-brainer” and, even though he has only been at the club for six weeks, he has already seen a changing of the guard. Turner’s signature was one of Stuart Taylor’s final acts as manager before his departure from Shannonside in early July.

While the midfielder was grateful to Taylor for freeing him from his unhappiness at Cork, he saluted the work done by successor Martin Russell in his first month as Limerick FC manager.

Speaking about his lack of game time at Cork City, Turner said: “At the start of the season I would have hoped to be in the plans of the manager. I was told I was in the plans. I was suspended for the first game of the season and from there I just never seemed to get a run.

“It was a no-brainer for me because I had gone from playing 30 games last year to virtually none this year. I came on in two games in the first few months of the season so it was important to look at my own career rather than the sentimental thing with Cork. I think it was a no-brainer in the end.

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“There were a couple of other options but once Limerick came in it seemed to be the right fit for me. There were a couple of other clubs up the country [who were interested] but for me the way Limerick played [was a factor]. Obviously it was close to home but that didn’t have a huge bearing on my decision. When I spoke to Stuart at the time he was very keen on bringing me in and that was important for me. I think that was the most important part.”

Turner had only been at Limerick for a matter of days when Taylor’s time with the club came to an abrupt end and he praised the discipline and organisation that Russell has brought to the managerial job.

“It was a bit topsy-turvy when I first came in because it was Stuart who signed me and then one game later he was gone. I didn’t know where I was but since Martin came in things have settled down and we’ve been working hard on things at training. Results have paid off in the last two games and it’s important that we build on that.

“Since Martin came in we’ve looked a lot more organised than we did in the previous games before that. The main thing is that everyone knows their job now and everyone knows where we’re strong and where we’re not so strong. In the last two games we emphasised where our strengths are and I think we’ve used them really well.”

Turner has been a regular fixture in the Super Blues’ starting XI since joining the club and he also found the net in the 4-1 win over Shamrock Rovers earlier this month.

He is pleased with his initial contribution in the blue of Limerick, but this level-headed professional is demanding even more of himself in the closing weeks of the season.

“Because I hadn’t played in so long it was always going to take time for me to get my match fitness up to where I want it to be and I think I’m still working towards that. I have five games played now and in each individual game I certainly have things I could improve on.

“Even when we win games I’m probably my own biggest critic. I definitely have things I can work on but fitness wise I’m getting to where I want to be and as long as I can keep contributing, scoring goals and setting up goals, that’s my main objective.

“The last couple of weeks have been good and we’ve worked really hard. Martin had us well drilled. We’re going into games and I know that if I make certain runs I know players will find me. The players know if they get the ball that I’ll be making runs. It’s something we’ve worked extremely hard on so I think it’s been easier for the new players, me included, to go into the team and gel quickly. I don’t know if Martin had purposely worked on that but it’s something that has really worked for us and I think it’s something that is only going to get stronger.”

Turner has the opportunity to do a favour for his former employers when Limerick travel to Dundalk on Friday night. A result for the Super Blues will go down very well in Cork, with the Leesiders four points behind the table toppers from Louth.

For the 25-year-old midfielder, the trip to Oriel Park is his only focus, with thoughts of where will be after his loan spell ends in late October firmly at the back of his mind.

“My contract is up at the end of the season so at the moment I’m taking it game by game. I’m extremely happy here with the way things are going. I’m playing games and as long as I can keep my performance levels up, I know I need to improve on certain aspects.

“At the moment I’m just taking it game by game but I’m loving my time here at the moment and once the end of the season comes I’ll re-evaluate everything. I’ll weigh up my options and make a decision then.”