While last year Stephen Ireland showed glimpses of brilliance, for the most part he was most known for some questionable behaviour. However this campaign, the twenty-two year-old has completely reversed his direction and exhibited a more mature professional approach whilst continuously being a spark-plug on the pitch. The secret of this success, per Mark Hughes, will warm the hearts of supporters and coaches alike:
“Stephen works exceptionally hard on a daily basis, and it is no coincidence that he has been able to sustain the level of performance that he has been playing at. He not only works on his game, but he works on his ability to cope with the demands of the Premier League. As a consequence he has been able to maintain his excellent form, so we’re really pleased with what he has produced so far.”
The dedication is quite obvious as Stephen is proving out to be a much more focused player this year and will continue to flourish as the club progresses.