Mark Hughes: 'Stephen Ireland the spark we need'

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that an injury-free Stephen Ireland could spark the Potters into life this season.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that an injury-free Stephen Ireland could spark his team back into life during a stuttering Premier League start.

Hughes said that Ireland, who returned to match action in midweek after five weeks on the sidelines, has the creativity to help Stoke thrive.

The manager told reporters: "He's an important player for us, a good player, good technically, good awareness.

"And certainly at home with the way teams want to set up against us, he's one of those players that has the creative spark, that ability to pick a pass and open the door."

The Potters host under-pressure Newcastle United on Monday in the Premier League.

Mame Biram Diouf of Stoke City celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at Etihad Stadium on August 30, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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