Manchester City academy graduate Ireland joined Bolton on a short-term deal last week
Last Updated: 16/10/18 6:44pm
Stephen Ireland is determined to put his leg-break horror behind him and prove he can still cut it at a high level following his move to Bolton.
The midfielder eventually joined Bolton last week after initially failing to win a contract with the Trotters during a summer trial due to a lack of fitness as he stepped up his recovery from a double leg-break.
Ireland’s five-year spell at Stoke ended when he left the Potters as a free agent in June, and his switch to Bolton gives him his first taste of football outside of the Premier League during his 13-year professional career.
“I’m not here [at Bolton] to waste my time or waste anyone’s time, otherwise I would have retired and enjoyed my life with my family,” Ireland told Sky Sports News.
“I’m here because I have got a lot to offer, I have a lot to give and I’m not here just to see my career out over the next couple of years. That’s not what I want to do. I think more highly of myself than just doing that over the next couple of years and slogging it out.
“I want to help my team-mates and help Bolton. I want to get myself back to being as strong and healthy as I can, and obviously I want to play as much football as I can and get as many minutes as I can.
“I’m willing to get my heads down, roll my sleeves up on those horrible nights when you’re away from home and up against it. I want to win or lose with my team-mates. I want that feeling again when you’re just dragging your legs into the changing room after a game.
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“I want to see what I am capable of as well. I want to push myself and make myself proud because I want to back up all of my talk.
“It’s one thing saying it, but I just want to play with my team-mates. I want to enjoy it and I just want to get back to doing what I love and just want to play as much football as I can over the next few years with a smile on my face.
“I don’t want to just go through the motions, that’s not what I am here for.”