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Hughes' hopes for Ireland

MARK Hughes hopes there is more to come this season from Stephen Ireland.

The Cork native ended his goal drought by scoring twice in their FA Cup win over Wrexham, the goals a boost for Ireland in what has been an injury-scarred season.

"He's just been really unfortunate," Hughes said.

"He's just had bumps, there are no fundamental flaws in his physique, and when he's come in he's shown the ability he's got. He arguably started pre-season in the best form of anybody, then got injured, went out of the team and found it hard to get back in, then got injured again. So it has been stop-start for him.

"But hopefully this year might be a bit more productive for him. He will always get you a goal, he is a good finisher and will be encouraged by that."