First Team News

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Stevie an enduring wonder

Toure and Ireland

Toure and Ireland

Stephen Ireland has been immediately forgiven for his glaring miss against Wolves and hailed by boss Mark Hughes.

The reigning player of the season opened his goal scoring account for this term with a cheeky, coolly taken effort in the 2-0 win at Ewood Park and looked long odds on to double his tally on Saturday before poking Robinho’s pass beyond the post in the second half.

But the Irish midfielder, playing in a different role this season to last, when he was pushed further forward, has still hugely impressed the boss.

“Stephen is a credit to himself, his ability is beyond question. On the strength of how he performed last year and the way he has started this season it augurs well for us because he is an outstanding young talent,” praised Hughes.

Questioned about whether or not the Republic of Ireland could expect the 23-year-old – Stevie celebrated his birthday with the 1-0 win over Wolves – to return to the international fold, the manager felt that the player’s opinion had not changed.

He said: “I think his view on international football is still the same. I think he feels that he needs, at this moment in time of his career and the way he is developing, to concentrate on club football. In the future who knows?  I think that is where he is at the moment.”

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