STEPHEN IRELAND has thrust himself straight into contention to make his Potters debut against former club Manchester City on Saturday after declaring himself ‘fit and raring to go’.
The Republic of Ireland ace, who arrived at the Britannia Stadium on a season long loan from Aston Villa on transfer deadline day, hasn’t featured in the Barclays Premier League since January.
However, after completing what he describes as a dream move to Stoke, he says he is desperate to make his return to the field this weekend and help the Potters prolong their three-match winning run.
“I’m fit and raring to go,” he enthused. “I don’t want to be eased in and I don’t want to have to take my time; I just want to get straight in there as fast as I can.
“I want to participate in whatever way I can, whether that be for the full 90 minutes or whether it be coming off the bench for the final five minutes.
“Whatever time I get I will give it everything I have. It’s been a long time in the waiting for me so I want to get going and show everyone what I am capable of.”
Speaking exclusively to this weekend’s edition of #pottersmag, the midfielder lavished praise upon manager Mark Hughes and his backroom team - describing them as the best in the business.
“We had a great relationship when I was at City and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work again with him and his staff, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, because they did so much for my career first time around.
“They are all really are good people, and I mean it when I say that I am excited to be here working with them again.
“When I stopped working with them four years ago all I have thought about since is whether I could have the opportunity of working with them again, and thankfully that has now happened.”
He added: “They are the best coaching staff that I have ever had, and I always tell people that. They inspire me, they make me feel good and I am finding myself smiling again now, which hasn’t been the case for a long time.”
To read the full interview with our new signing, make sure you pick up a copy of our award winning matchday publication #pottersmag from one of the official sellers around the Britannia Stadium, or inside the club superstore.
Tickets for the visit of Manchester City to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday are still available. Buy from scfcdirect.com, in person direct from the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01782 367599.