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Hughes impressed as Ireland opens account for Stoke

Stoke boss Mark Hughes believes Stephen Ireland showed what he is capable of with the opening goal of a 2-0 win over Tranmere in the Capital One Cup. Ireland marked his first start for the Potters since his move from Aston Villa with an impressive display.

"Stephen has come in and everybody can see he is an intelligent footballer," says Hughes. "He understands the game and how to affect the game in a positive manner. He took up some great positions in and around the opposition box and when he gets in good areas he will finish. I thought he was excellent. But we are still trying to get him up to speed."

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Dave Williams

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