Midfielder looking to move on.Check in to Aston Villa vs Newcastle United
Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland has admitted that his time at the club is virtually over after joining Stoke City on loan for the season, Sky Sports reports.
The 27-year-old signed for the Potters after being frozen out of Paul Lambert’s plans at Villa Park and he has accepted that his days at the club are numbered as he enters the final year of his contract.
And he has already hinted that he may be interested in signing on at the Britannia Stadium on a full time deal after admitting that his initial impressions of the club have been impressive.
But asked if he thought his time at Villa was over, he said; “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.”
Ireland went on to explain that being frozen out for so long last season was frustrating, but he has also insisted that he holds no grudges towards the current management.
“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.”
He still feels that he has a lot to offer the world of football, and is looking toward his loan spell with Stoke as the ideal opportunity to kick start his career and get back to the levels he was at under Hughes at Manchester City a few years ago.
“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 could be in line to make his debut against former club Manchester City this weekend, and he has pointed towards working with Hughes again as one of the major reasons in his decision to join Stoke.
“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.”