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Doubt over Ireland's City future

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06 May 2010 14:08:14

DOUBT Stephen IrelandManchester City star Stephen Ireland has admitted a lack of first-team opportunities at Eastlands has left a question mark over his future at the club. The 23-year-old has slipped down the pecking order since Roberto Mancini took charge and he has figured just 11 times since the Italian's arrival in December. After earning rave reviews - and a PFA young player of the year nomination - for his outstanding performances at the heart of City's midfield last season, Ireland concedes he has endured a frustrating 12 months that has seen injury, illness and loss of form curtail his progress, with injury ruling him out of last night's crunch game with Spurs. Although he refused to rule out a move away from the club he joined as a 15-year-old, he said any decision over his future would be taken out of his hands. "It's been difficult," said Ireland, talking exclusively at a charity event for Francis House Children's Hospice. "It's been difficult because I've only played 15 or 16 times which is nowhere near the amount I played last year. "When I have played, I haven't played in my position and it's been a difficult and frustrating season for me. "I think there's a question mark over next year for me and I don't know what will happen, but it's out of my hands. "I'm just getting on with my day job. Football is very unpredictable," he added. "You never know how things are going to go. "I'm contracted to City and all I can do is carry on doing my job and performing well when I'm called upon, and if anything changes over the summer it will be down to the club not me." Ireland started 47 times for City last season and was rewarded with a new five-year deal last summer. But he has managed fewer than half that this term as he struggles to force his way into Mancini's favoured midfield, and although he admits to feeling frustrated at spending most of the season on the bench, Ireland says he is happy to sacrifice his own ambitions for the good of the team. "I'll be doing my best every day and to end the season well," he said. "The club has done really well this season and we've made a massive improvement. It's all about the club really, it's not about me. "It's been a difficult year because I care so much about my job. I care about my game and about the club but there's a lot of frustration bottled up because I haven't played as much as I would have liked. "I can't really complain too much because the team is doing so well and that's the most important thing. "I've got no right to kick up a fuss because the team has been doing so well and that's all that really matters. If I have to take a back seat while the team is doing well then that's what has to happen. "I grew up at City and I would like to stay here," he added. "Whatever happens in the future, whether it be now, in five years or in 10 years, it's all out of my hands because whoever I'm contracted to, I belong to. "I'll just carry on and take every day as it comes because it's out of my hands." FOR more information visit www.stephenireland.com Should City keep Stephen Ireland? Tell us your thoughts| Submit Comments| Comments (50)| PrintWhat's this? Emaildel.icio.usDiggredditFacebookStumbleUponNewsvineGoogle BookmarksNetscapeTechnoratiWindows LiveYahoo! MyWebMa.gnolia


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