Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is delighted with Stephen Ireland's form this season.

In his match programme notes for yesterday's victory over Stoke City, Hughes wrote: "Stephen Ireland has been consistently excellent throughout this season so far, and to get four from goals from a midfielder, like we have already had from him, has been a nice bonus.

"His fitness and stamina have improved, and he was exactly where he needed to be late on last Monday to grab the equaliser when he latched on to Robinho's superb pass. Stephen would have scored a few minutes earlier had it not been for an outstanding save from Shay Given."