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Man City's Ireland banned from dropping shorts - Eriksson

Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson has banned Stephen Ireland from dropping his shorts if he scores again.

Irish midfielder Ireland celebrated scoring the winner against Sunderland on Monday by dropping his shorts to show off a pair of Superman underpants.

Eriksson is pleased the Football Association took a lenient view of the matter but after the headlines generated by the escapade, he feels Ireland should concentrate solely on the goalscoring at Fratton Park.

When asked what Ireland's likely celebration would be next time, Eriksson said: "I think he will keep them on Sunday!

"But I hope we will have that problem, that he scores a goal."

Ireland's latest controversy followed a number of other incidents in recent months, with the player having lied about the death of both his grandmothers and written about a dislike of the game on the internet.

But Eriksson has given his full backing to the player and has high regard for him both on and off the field.

On the FA's decision not to punish Ireland this week, Eriksson said: "I think it is fair. He shouldn't be punished too heavily for that. It is nothing, not even to talk about.

"He has had some problems maybe but above all he is a very good footballer and a good gentleman as well.

"I talk football with him and he loves to play his football. He played very well last weekend and I am sure he will play well on Sunday.

"He is not a problem at all, 'Just go and play good football Stephen' and that's it."

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Tribal Football Staff

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