Date: 21st June 2012 at 10:22am
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Darrent Bent has told www.birminghammail.net he thinks that Stephen Ireland is the best player at Villa.

The mercurial 25-year-old player has 2 years left on his current deal which saw James Milner move to Man City.

Ireland action

Bent says Ireland has to be played in the right position, which is in the hole behind the striker/s.

“There`s no point playing Stevie Ireland one game and then moving him to the right and then taking him out the team. You`ve got to play Stevie Ireland four or five games in that position and go from there. For me, as I`ve said before, he`s the best footballer in the squad, and if you want to see the best Stephen Ireland and get the best out of him like you did against Chelsea you need to be playing him – and I think that`s what we need to do.”

Bent adds that as a striker Ireland is the sort of player you want behind you in the hole…. no, hang on, that needs re-phrasing… err… he says he`ll give a striker more chances played in the right position. Phew, that`s better. This is not ‘that` sort of site.

Apparently he was very proud to win the supporters player of the season award (done via the Lions site man of the match votes) and that you could see after that ‘he seemed like a different person`.

Just shows what a bit of faith and confidence can do for a player.

Ireland in Stan t-shirt

“To be fair, it can take time for players to settle and some need more time than others, but a happy, in-form Stephen Ireland is great to have. Confidence can make a massive difference to any player and when he is feeling good about himself the performances will follow.”

Ireland won the man of the match Vital Villa poll five times last season and came second seven times.

Stephen Ireland Profile.

Forum thread: Would you keep Stephen Ireland?