Shay Given has said that Villa are now starting to see the best of Stephen Ireland on the pitch.
Speaking to the Herald the goalkeeper said.
‘Stephen has had a frustrating time but during the last few weeks you have seen the real Ireland. During the win at Chelsea, in glimpses at Villa Park and again against Everton, he has shown that if we can get him the ball he is very comfortable. His confidence has taken a lift, he wants to be on the ball more and is more bubbly around the place. That can only be good for the club.’
Ireland has certainly woken up this season, but his form really has been little different to the glimpses shown under Houllier – the difference is he hasn’t been scapegoated this year.
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