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Ireland praises Hughes

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"He's a proper manager, the kind which I have always wanted to play under and who covers every aspect of preparation and training.

"He sets targets for individuals and the work we do in small groups is intense and spot-on.

"I have got more confidence this season and that is because the manager has shown his confidence and trust in me."


Not words you'll hear from Elano anytime soon I wouldn't have thought.

Given his form this season, it is amazing to think how close he potentially was to leaving the club on the eve of the season given the stories floating around during the friendly against Milan.

He did look impressive at times last season when deputising for Elano in 'the hole' behind a striker, and so often played out on the right-hand side, he know appears to have found his ideal position and is certainly flourishing so far anyway under a manager who may have found a way to tap into what is believed to be a fragile ego.