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Man City boss Hughes hails Ireland impact

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has hailed the form this season of midfielder Stephen Ireland.

"He has the opportunity to be a player here for many years," said the City boss.

"If he can replicate the guys mentioned he will have had an outstanding career.

"The level of Stephen's performance is what has struck everyone. He has consistently hit a point which has seen him make an impact in nearly every game he has played.

"He is trying to improve and become one of the best players in the Premier League. That is credit to him. We have to make sure he has the means and the tools to do so in the coming years."

It was a summer of change for Ireland, according to Hughes, who said: "Stephen had to make decisions about where he wanted his career to go.

"He came back with a real focus to his work and is reaping the benefits. We also like to think the environment we created at the training ground has helped him. He has a real empathy with the club and that is showing in his play."

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