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I was desperate to score, says Stevie

Toure and Ireland

Toure and Ireland

Stephen Ireland conjured his super-cool finish to crown the first-day victory at Blackburn because he was still kicking himself about an earlier chance he misfired.

The gifted midfielder, who scored 13 as last season's player of the year, opened this campaign's account with a gorgeous late goal in front of the Blues' 7,000 travelling army.

He collected Shaun Wright-Phillips' sweet through ball to wrong-foot England goalkeeper Paul Robinson and a handful of bemused Blackburn defenders seemingly with all the time in the world.

Stevie admitted: "I had a chance earlier on but I wasn't ready and when it came I scuffed it. I was gutted. But I was desperate to score a goal, and so this time I thought 'why not?'

Samba had gone forward because they were pushing up, and it was a great pass from Shaun. I knew exactly what I was going to do and I never change my mind, that way it goes wrong.

Stephen Ireland

 

"I faked to shoot then got my head back up. I saw Adebayor but I knew what I was going to do and just slotted it in between the keeper and the near post.

"It's a great start for us - there are obviously high expectations this season and winning away from home sets us up, especially since that was one of our problems last season.

"The summer training I do on my own is almost a hobby, I do it because I enjoy it, as much as anything. But I do feel as though I've hit the ground running, and there's more to come."

Stevie's brilliant goal sparked a huge celebration behind that Darwen End goal and the inevitable lusty rendition of "Ireland is Superman" as the dying minutes played out at Ewood Park.

He added: "We couldn't believe how many fans we saw from the coach.It's exciting times for the fans and they sang everything. When you're up against it, they really lift you to raise your game."    

 

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