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Preston North End FC Greg Cunningham: back in familiar territory.
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Mick McCarthy sends Ireland left-back Greg Cunningham out on loan
The Galway native has left Cardiff City to return to Preston North End for the rest of the season.

IRISH DEFENDER GREG Cunningham will spend the rest of the season with Preston North End.

The 29-year-old left-back has been allowed to leave on loan by fellow Championship club Cardiff City, who appointed former Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy as their new manager last week.

It marks a return to Preston for Cunningham, who played 111 games in three years with the Deepdale outfit before departing for the Welsh capital.

The Galway native, having since encountered several injury setbacks, has been restricted to 14 appearances with Cardiff.

He also played 10 games during a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers, which was cut short by an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury that sidelined him for nearly a year.

“I am delighted to be back and I am really looking forward to the second half of the season,” Cunningham said as he begins his second spell with Preston.

“There is unfinished business. It has probably been the best time of my career at this club and I want to get back to those times again, get playing games and repay the club.”

Cunningham, who featured in the Ireland squad under Mick McCarthy in 2019, has four senior caps for his country, the most recent of which came in a February 2013 friendly against Poland.

Neil Warnock signed him from Preston for a reported fee of £4 million as Cardiff City were preparing to return to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season. His contract with Cardiff is due to expire this summer.

It’s a move up the Championship table for Cunningham, who’s in contention to play for Preston against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend. Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hillsborough, the Lilywhites sit in 11th place, with Cardiff six points further back in 15th.

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“What he will add is experience, grit, determination, a good role model for the younger players and an understanding of what it takes to be successful at this level,” Preston manager Alex Neil said of the Manchester City academy graduate.

“He is a really good lad. We know what we are getting when he comes in. All of that ticked all the right boxes for us and I think it will be a strong bit of business.”

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