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The former Manchester City and Aston Villa midfielder sees his deadline-day loan move to the Britannia Stadium as a massive opportunity for him to return to his best form

Stephen Ireland says that he decided to join Stoke City on deadline day in order to revive his stop-start career.

The 27-year-old midfielder has joined the Potters on a season-long loan from Aston Villa and is hungry for a return to the first-team spotlight, having not made a Villa appearance since January.

Ireland believes that working with Mark Hughes for the second time in his career will help him get his performances back on track.

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"I had a great relationship with Mark at Manchester City and I was desperate to work with him and his staff again," he told the club's official website. "I'm raring to go and can't wait to meet my new team-mates.

"Mark knows how I play and how to get the best out of me. I just want to get a good run of games, which is something I haven't had for a while.

"I'm so grateful to Stoke City for the opportunity – I'm looking forward to getting stuck into training and building my career back up again. I'm also looking forward to matchdays again and the atmosphere generated by the fans because I haven't been in that kind of environment for quite a long time."

Ireland, who has only made 47 appearances for Villa since moving to the club in 2010, is desperate for regular game time.

"I do feel as though I've got something to prove and I'm coming here to get myself back playing," he added. "There are still lots of things I want to achieve; I've set myself a lot of goals and want to hit the ground running.

"I turned 27 last week and, to me, it's vital that I'm playing on a regular basis."

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