Thursday 14 December 2017

Ireland in hot water with Brum boss McLeish

STEPHEN IRELAND has found himself in trouble yet again after the Cork-born player was caught on camera answering back to his Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish during yesterday's Premier League defeat to Newcastle United.

But McLeish has denied reports that he substituted Ireland for his act of defiance and instead insisted that the in-form midfielder was injured.

Ireland appeared to be surplus to requirements at Villa earlier this season as he had fallen out of favour under McLeish, but the ex-Manchester City man managed to transform his season and save his Villa career with a superb run of form in the side.

That all appeared to be at an end at half-time away to Newcastle yesterday, however.

McLeish appeared to blame Ireland for failing to prevent Danny Guthrie from sending in the cross which set up Newcastle's opening goal from Demba Ba, but Ireland was seen to mouth "F*** off" back in the direction of his manager, and the Irishman was taken off at half time, but not as a punishment, McLeish says.

"I never saw the f-off thing, it's trivial," said McLeish.

"I know he spoke back but at the same time players don't always like hearing their manager screaming from the touchline.

"I kick every ball with them. I'm passionate, I care and I would not be so petty to take a player off for something like that."

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