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Modest Stevie dishes out the praise

Stephen Ireland Fulham

Stephen Ireland Fulham

Stephen Ireland has played down his award-winning exploits against Liverpool and sung the praises of his team-mates.

The midfielder's goal in the 75th minute gave City a sadly all-too-brief hope of a rare win at Anfield, but it came about after great work from Carlos Tevez and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The Argentinean striker made an immediate impact after coming off the substitute's bench on the hour, and he combined with Wright-Phillips to set up Stevie's first league goal since the opening day of the season which looked to have put the Blues on the road to all three points.

Yossi Benayoun's equaliser seconds later dashed City's dreams, but Stevie's overall display earned him the man-of-the-match award although he was quick to talk up the contributions of his team-mates.

"It was good to get man-of-the-match but I don't think I deserved it. I've got to thank Shaun for my goal because he put the ball on a plate for me and made it really easy for me to put it away.

"Carlos was superb, he changed the game when he came on and we've seen him do that in big games before. He can make a massive impact, even late on and bringing him on was a great decision. He was buzzing when he came on and was chasing people down all over."

Reflecting on City's sixth successive draw, Stevie added: "We're really disappointed, after going ahead we should have held out but we conceded so quickly after I scored. It's so disappointing because it was a great chance for us to win at Anfield, which we've not done for a long time. That's the ups and downs of football, and we just have to deal with it.

"It's a proper kick in the teeth for us, it’s a shame that we ended up with a draw, but what we can take is that it was a draw and not a defeat. We might look back at this at the end of the season and be grateful for the point though. We are not losing, which we were not doing away from home last year, then it's important that we at least are coming away from games with something."

 

Carlos was superb, he changed the game when he came on and we've seen him do that in big games before. He can make a massive impact, even late on.

...Stevie on Carlos...

 

But Stevie also hailed the spirit of the squad, which has enabled the Blues to hit back after conceding on several occasions this season

"That's down to the staff and the players here," he asserts. "We all know what we want to achieve so we'll never roll over and die. As soon as a goal goes in that seems to bring us to life at times, sometimes we need a goal to get us started which is not the right mentality to have. But at least against Liverpool, away from home against a difficult team we bounced back well."

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So the frustration continues. While there was a time not long ago when a point at Anfield would be celebrated, aspirations now mean that this draw must rank as a disappointment.