St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v Stoke

Sunday, 08 February 2015, 14:05

Barclays Prem

Britannia Stadium

Last Game

Stoke 3 - 1 QPR

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Hughes wants Ireland to wait

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes believes it is too early for Stephen Ireland to return to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Last Updated: 03/10/13 at 19:16 Post Comment

Stephen Ireland: Midfielder prepared to discuss Ireland return

Stephen Ireland: Midfielder prepared to discuss Ireland return

Ireland has not featured for his country since 2007, but recently confirmed he would be prepared to discuss a comeback after Giovanni Trapattoni's exit as coach.

The midfielder has not been included in Ireland's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan after making just three substitute appearances in the Premier League since joining Stoke on loan last month.

Hughes feels the time is not right for Ireland to end his international exile and expects the 27-year-old to hold further talks about the situation once Trapattoni's successor has been appointed.

"Stephen is still trying to get back to the levels he knows he can reach and at the moment he is not quite there," said Hughes.

"He is very close, but I think getting involved with the international squad would be a little bit premature for him at the moment.

"But certainly he has said he is more than happy to have a conversation in regard to being involved again.

"Probably the actual position of the national team manager needs to be resolved and then he can have that conversation and move it forward."

Ireland has not played for his country since he lied about the death of both of his grandmothers after pulling out of the squad for a European Championship qualifier in the Czech Republic six years ago.

Hughes said: "He is doing very well, his fitness is improving.

"He needed good quality work within the senior group. Prior to coming here he was just working with the under-21 development squad.

"That takes the edge off your work, the intensity of work is not what you need to make an impact at Premier League level. The more work he does with us the better he will become."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

fatbob30
Carroll accuses Rodgers

P

resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

badwolf
Rodgers: I wanted to keep Downing

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

Footer 365

AFCON round-up: Ivory Coast and Ghana make semi-finals

Ivory Coast and Ghana both qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals after beating Algeria and Guinea respectively on Sunday.

Stuart Pearce sacked as Nottingham Forest manager

Stuart Pearce has been sacked as manager of Nottingham Forest, the club confirmed on Sunday evening.

Transfer news: Tottenham look to offload trio and sign a player on loan

Tottenham will allow Emmanuel Adebayor and either Younes Kaboul or Vlad Chiriches to leave on loan before the deadline.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

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