Stephen Ireland will return to Aston Villa having appeared in a Newcastle shirt twice since his loan switch in January. The controversial Irishman has been ruled out for the rest of the season and Villa assistant Gary McAllister has confirmed he will return to begin his rehabilitation at the club. The man in charge in Houllier’s absence hinted that the 24-year-old may be given a second chance at the club, having failed to make an impact since joining as part of a move that saw James Milner join Manchester City. Ireland has successfully pissed off the fans at every team he has played for and was quick to dismiss the city of Birmingham as ‘crap’ when it was suggested that he should move to be closer to Villa Park. McAllister joked that he should “change the route into Bodymoor, with blacked-out windows!” Before stating: “No. I am sure he was misquoted.”
“It has been tough for Stephen, but he is a Villa player and our responsibility.
“Our guys will have a look at him and try and get him fit and get a programme for him because he has had two or three little niggles which have prevented him from getting fit.
“If it’s not one thing it has been another. I think he has had problems with his groin, hamstring and his ankle.
“He’s not had much luck. He is no doubt a talented player but he has to get fit before we see the real Stephen Ireland.”
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