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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 17:01 UK

Stephen Ireland deal pleases Villa boss Kevin MacDonald


Ireland 'great boost' for Villa - MacDonald

Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald says the signing of Stephen Ireland from Manchester City is a great boost for the West Midlands club.

Ireland, 23, has arrived at Villa as part of the deal that takes fellow midfielder James Milner to Eastlands.

"It is sad to see James go but it is a great boost for the club that Stephen is joining," MacDonald told BBC Sport.

"Stephen is a very gifted, inventive player and he links up play probably more than James in many ways."

Ireland will not make his Villa debut in Thursday's Europa League qualifier against Rapid Vienna in Austria.


But the exiled Republic of Ireland international could make his bow for his new club in Sunday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

MacDonald is convinced Ireland could have as much of an impact as 24-year-old Milner.

"He is a different kind of player to James with his power and strength all round the pitch, allied to a very good football brain," said MacDonald, who was handed temporary charge of the club following Martin O'Neil's shock decision to quit.

Milner's performances last season helped Villa reach the 2010 Carling Cup final and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

The midfielder also landed the PFA young player of the season award and earned a call-up to England manager Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

I still haven't particularly thought about it - I still haven't any feelings

Kevin MacDonald on the managerial vacancy at Villa

Meanwhile, MacDonald has admitted that he is unsure whether he would want to succeed Martin O'Neill as manager on a permanent basis.

"I still haven't particularly thought about it. I still haven't any feelings," he said.

"I keep saying that I'll know if I want it. At the moment I haven't got that, although I haven't had time to sit down and think about it.

"It has been a bit of a whirlwind, so I'll wait and see, but I just need to know it's going to be right for myself.

"If I feel I would like to be considered along with others, I will let owner Randy Lerner know in the very near future."

MacDonald added that he would have to speak to his family and seek their opinion before he made a decision.

"It's not just about me, it's about my family, becoming a Premier League manager is a life-changing thing," added MacDonald.

"It is upheaval for families because you never get to see them, you have to chase around, organise things, take phone calls and all that sort of thing, and that's another thing I have to look at."

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see also
Ireland 'great boost' for Villa - MacDonald
18 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa
Milner completes move to Man City
18 Aug 10 |  Man City
Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Newcastle v Villa - 1 hr ago
Birmingham Evening Mail Match report: Europa League - Rapid Vienna 1 Aston Villa 1 - 3 hrs ago
Daily Star Villa youngsters excite MacDonald - 3 hrs ago
Sporting Life IRELAND SET FOR VILLA DEBUT - 3 hrs ago
Telegraph Newcastle United v Aston Villa: match preview - 8 hrs ago


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