Stephen Ireland believes he is close to recapturing his best form and has thanked Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish for the "trust" shown in him.

Midfielder Ireland has been given another chance at the midlands club, after a disappointing first term, and is reaping the benefits of his first elongated spell of games.

Ireland defied an early dead leg to be chosen as the club's official man of the match for the 1-1 home draw with Everton with fans chanting his name. He said: "I feel I'm ready to show my best form now. I'm getting fitter and you get that with a consistent run."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Football
Stephen Ireland
Premier League
Alex
Everton
Aston Villa