Pardew Puts Ireland In The Picture
According to reports this morning ... Stephen Ireland has six games in which to prove he is worth a deal at St James' Park. Two-and-a-half months after signing on loan from Aston Villa, Ireland is finally ready to make his Magpies debut in Tuesday's rearranged home game with Manchester United. The midfielder, who has struggled to shake off a long-standing knee injury sustained prior to moving to the North-East, is hoping to secure a permanent transfer to Tyneside this summer. Alan Pardew: "I don't think there's pressure on Stephen as a player because he's already proven he is a very good player at Manchester City. "The question with Stephen is whether he can do it in a black and white shirt. "We've got this period between now and the end of the season where he has to show he can. If we don't see it in the next six games, it's highly unlikely we are going to bring him here permanently. "He has to be comfortable at the club, and we have to be comfortable with him. This is a very important period for him, and we hope he's going to feature heavily in these last six games. "That will really beef up our offensive capability and, if I'm honest, it needs it. Shola (Ameobi) should hopefully be okay for the Manchester United game as well, which is a big relief. "We won't risk him (Ameobi) if he isn't right, and it's still touch and go, but Stephen will be involved. He won't start, but he'll be on the bench. "The nightclub incident was something about nothing really. "It wasn't like they were drinking and doing anything outrageous, they just pulled their tops up. It has to be put into context, however I know he hasn't played. "It's harsh on him, but that is all he has been known for since he got here because he hasn't played in any games. I understand that. He hasn't done anything. "We took him injured, and the loan deal reflects that because he hasn't cost us any money. He will cost us when he plays, and I can't wait to pay some money for him. "There weren't many better midifelders around a couple of years ago when he was at City. He was outstanding. "With players, sometimes the recipe doesn't quite work at a club, it's the same for managers. Sometimes, it doesn't work out, but sometimes it's the right club at the right time and I'm hoping that's what we have with Stephen here. The circumstances you are in at a club are very, very important."
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