Ireland keen to finish season on high

20 April 2011 04:00
Midfielder Stephen Ireland is desperate to repay Newcastle's faith in him after belatedly making his debut. The 24-year-old Irishman has been a frustrated bystander for much of the past two and a half months after arriving from Aston Villa on loan in January with a knee injury and then picking up a thigh strain as he neared full fitness. However, he is delighted to have the chance to impress Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who has challenged him to prove that he could have a long-term future at St James' Park. Ireland said: "It's been really frustrating for me. I have not really had a manager who has wanted me to play and I have felt like an outcast for a while. "It's nice to be treated normally for once. I haven't had that in a while. "I have come here now and even through my injuries, they kept telling me, 'Listen, it's not a problem, just get yourself right'. The loyalty they have shown me, I am going to repay that as much as I can."

Source: PA