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Stevie aiming to be first among equals

Stephen Ireland June 09

Stephen Ireland June 09

Stevie Ireland believes the Blues will be looking the other top sides right between the eyes when the season kicks off next month.

The midfielder is adamant that Mark Hughes will assemble a squad that is the equal of anything else in the Premier League.


Academy graduate Ireland who has been at the club through lean times is convinced that Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak’s publicly stated target of a top six place is realistic and that everyone is determined to push even higher.


“The chairman has already said that the top six is the aim this season and it has got to be,” he declared.

“We have to push on. If we get all the players the manager has targeted we will have a squad that is the equal of those sides who seem to win everything between them and are always in the Champions League.


“What the new signings have done already is give the manger many more options. At times last season other sides had worked out how to stop us playing so effectively but now they will not know what is coming in terms of formations. We could play almost any way with the players we have.


“There may be more rest and rotation this season but that is no bad thing if games are coming thick and fast like they do at Christmas and New Year. Top clubs need good players to fall back on.”


Ireland admits he has had to look twice at some of the names that the Blues have been linked with this summer but only because he never thought the club would be in a position to attract such stellar names.


“Some of the players who we have been seriously linked with and we have obviously talked to are unbelievable for those of us who have been here a long time,” he declared. “I never thought we would be in this position and that I would be talking about them and perhaps training alongside them.



I have been here when we have struggled for money to buy players but thanks to the new owners we are in a different era now and it is as exciting for the players as I am sure it is for the supporters.

...Stevie Ireland...


And Ireland has a simple message for any pot stirrers who say that boss Mark Hughes may have trouble blending in the big names and their big wages. 


“There were those people last season who suggested that the manager couldn’t handle big names but they were people who couldn’t possibly know what goes on in the training ground and in our dressing room,” reckoned Ireland.


“They couldn’t be more wrong and the manager will prove that again this season. All the players who have signed or we could sign will fit right in with what we do here. The manager just expects everyone to give their all. He has played at some of the biggest clubs in the world in his time and he knows what makes top players tick.


“The manager is as hungry as the rest of us to make sure this club starts winning things again it has been too long. We are all determined to show what we are about.”

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