Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v West Ham

Saturday, 09 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 3 - 2 Everton

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Ireland: Villa time is over

Stephen Ireland admits his time at Aston Villa is as good as over after joining Stoke City on loan.

Last Updated: 12/09/13 at 11:51 Post Comment

Stephen Ireland: Accepts his time at Aston Villa is over

Stephen Ireland: Accepts his time at Aston Villa is over

Ireland left Villa for Stoke on transfer deadline day after finding himself frozen out of the first-team picture under Paul Lambert.

The 27-year-old, who has joined Stoke on a season-long loan, is in the final year of his contract at Villa and he accepts he is likely to leave the club on a permanent basis next summer.

Ireland says he would be interested in a move to Stoke on a full-time basis after being encouraged by his first impressions of the club.

Asked if he thought his spell at Villa was as good as over, Ireland told Sky Sports: "I would think so, although I am still officially contracted to them.

"If I do well at Stoke and they want me at the end of the loan spell - and as I will be out of contract - I think that, yes, my Villa career is effectively over.

"I would [consider staying at Stoke permanently], as my first impressions of the club have been fantastic. Everybody has been so welcoming and there seems to be a great buzz about the place.

"I just can't wait to be a part of it and start playing again on a regular basis."

No grudges

Ireland admits he found it frustrating to find himself as an outcast at Villa, but he bears no grudges against Lambert.

"It is hard as player as you always want to play," added Ireland. "I appreciate though that football is all about opinions and money, so sometimes clubs and managers change the way they are going and sometimes you are deemed surplus to requirements.

"So although it was extremely frustrating as I had been the fans' player of the year under Alex McLeish, it never quite worked out for me under Paul Lambert even though I believed I had a great deal to offer the team.

"However, it wasn't to be, so I have acted professionally in keeping myself fit as I understand that these things happen to players during their career."

The attacking midfielder is now hoping to kick-start his career again at Stoke and he is confident he can recapture the form he showed at Manchester City which earmarked him as one of the best young players in the Premier League.

"I have got so much to prove to myself and the footballing world," continued Ireland.

"I am hungrier than ever to prove the doubters wrong and prove Mark Hughes and Stoke right in their decision to sign me, I can't wait for the games to start."

Ireland, who is hoping to make his debut against former club Manchester City this weekend, claims the presence of his former boss at the Etihad, Mark Hughes, was a big factor in his decision to move to the Britannia Stadium.

Ireland arguably enjoyed the best spell in his career under Hughes' stewardship and he believes the Welshman can get the best out of him again.

"I really enjoyed working under him and his team at City and they got the best out of me," said Ireland.

"I am hoping to recreate that and more for the faith they have shown in me.

"He helped develop my game and had confidence in me which really helps a player, training was always enjoyable and varied.

"He gets players wanting to play for him."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m not sure how good of a manager he is, but from recollection he does a passable Dutch man, for sure, also.

hump3.
Steve McClaren: Only Confusion Reigns...

G

reat games with free flowing atracttive football featuring 4 top teams, showing it is possible to win in the right way entertaining fans at the same time. All the mourinho apologists if you only care about the result why watch the game at all or any game for that matter. It made me laugh how they all turned up on twitter to criticise pep when mourinho couldn't even get this far.

morpheus99
16 Conclusions: Champions League Semi-Finals

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

Footer 365

Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich's 3-0 loss to Barcelona was harsh

Pep Guardiola insists Bayern Munich's first-half tactics against Barcelona worked well and the 3-0 defeat was "harsh".

Gary Neville: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo deserve final showdown

Gary Neville says Lionel Messi is on a new level and deserves to face Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final.

Pique: Pep right about Messi

Gerard Pique paid tribute to Lionel Messi after the Argentinian magician masterminded Barcelona's 3-0 trouncing of Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company