An excellent and frank interview with Stephen Ireland in today's Mail. Most of the areas covered are old ground, but there was one interesting part which lifts a lid on quite how bad things were at the tail end of the season:
May 11, 2008, on the A1 between Middlesbrough and Manchester. He is in his girlfriend’s car. 'It was the last day of the season and we had lost 8-1 at Boro,’ he remembers. 'I didn’t get the team bus. I got Jessica to drive me home and I thought to myself: "This can’t carry on. My career and my reputation are not right."
'After that game we didn’t even get a b******ing. I was so depressed at seeing that people didn’t really care. People were laughing. It was the worst moment of all for me.
Harsh to pin all of that on Sven of course given the way his authority and position were undermined, no, destroyed by the antics of Thaksin during the latter stages of 2007/08.
Perhaps though, it does suggest that the job Hughes took on was far more difficult than most people give credit for.