Alex McLeish challenges Stephen Ireland

McLeish challenges Ireland
© PA Photos
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has challenged Stephen Ireland to score more goals.

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has challenged Stephen Ireland to solve the club's goalscoring woes this season.

Top scorer Darren Bent is a long-term absentee with ankle trouble, while Robbie Keane returned to Los Angeles Galaxy after a loan spell at the club.

Ireland was deployed behind Gabriel Agbonlahor in the club's 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, and excelled in his new role.

"We said before the game that guys have got to take big responsibility now. Robbie Keane was more of a goalscorer who also linked the midfield to the attack," McLeish told Sky Sports News.

"Stevie's slightly different but we're now challenging Stevie to be as hungry as Robbie to score goals. Stevie was excellent. He was a real thorn in Blackburn's side."

Ireland joined Villa from Manchester City in 2010.

Alex McLeish
Read Next:
McLeish: 'We lacked ruthlessness'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves18132335161941
2Cardiff CityCardiff18114325131237
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd18120631201136
4Aston Villa189542617932
5Bristol City188732718931
6Middlesbrough188552415929
7Derby CountyDerby178542620629
8Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest189092627-127
9Ipswich TownIpswich178273026426
10Leeds UnitedLeeds188282724326
11Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds186752321225
12Preston North EndPreston186752120125
13Brentford185852624223
14Fulham185852424023
15Norwich CityNorwich186571622-623
16Queens Park RangersQPR185672026-621
17Barnsley175572323020
18Millwall184771919019
19Reading175482023-319
20Hull City184683032-218
21Birmingham CityBirmingham184311927-1815
22Burton Albion1835101235-2314
23Bolton WanderersBolton182791531-1613
24Sunderland181892335-1211
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand