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McLeish's Ireland call

ALEX McLEISH has challenged Stephen Ireland to come up with the goals to make sure that the now-departed Robbie Keane is not missed.

Villa began life without Keane, who has now returned to his US club LA Galaxy, on Saturday with a disappointing 1-1 draw away to BlackburN, but McLeish says he wants to see more from Corkman Ireland.

"We said before the game that guys have got to take big responsibility now," said McLeish.

"Now that Benty's missing and Keano's left, it's a great opportunity for these boys to to show that they can really be top players for Villa. These lads are giving us a different dimension now.

"Robbie was more of a goalscorer who linked the midfield to the attack. 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, but the changes made it more difficult for him to find space in the second half."