Former Manchester City duo Stephen Ireland and Mark Hughes will link up once again at the Britannia Stadium and Ireland is looking forward to the prospect
The former Manchester City duo will link up again at the Britannia Stadium after Hughes captured the 27-year-old on a season-long loan.
And, the Cork-born midfielder is relishing the opportunity to work for the manager, claiming Hughes can get the best out of him again.
“I had a great relationship with Mark at City and I was desperate to work with him and his staff again. Mark knows how I play and how to get the best out of me,” he told the club’s official website.
“I just want to get a good run of games, which is something I haven't had for a while. 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.”
The exiled Republic of Ireland midfielder won the Player of the Year award at the Ethiad Stadium under Hughes in 2009 but, since then, his career hit stumbling blocks at Villa Park. Ireland made the switch to the Midlands for £8 million three years ago but made just 57 appearances in claret and blue as his time there was plagued by injuries and inconsistent performances.
“I just want to get a good run of games, which is something I haven’t had for a while,” added the midfielder. “I do feel as though I’ve something to prove and I’m coming here to get myself back playing.
“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 I’m playing on a regular basis.
“I’m so grateful to Stoke for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into training and building my career back up again.”
Ireland will wear the number 32 jersey at the Britannia Stadium and could make his Potters debut against his former club Manchester City when the Premier League returns on Saturday September 14.