Irish international and Manchester City boy Stephen Ireland is blaming ex City Boss Mark Hughes for his recent lack of talent on being moved out of his regular midfield position

Hughes, who was sacked late last year and replaced with Robert Mancini, placed Carlos Tevez instead of Ireland in midfield, throwing the Irish man off balance.

"I was being played out of position. Maybe as a holding midfielder, left wing, right wing. It's not me," he told the Football Association's website.

Ireland, who has played six out of ten games under Mancini, was recently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Ireland, who has been at City since 2001, added: "You have to adjust and think 'I have to do it' but if you want the best out of me you have to play me in my best position. Then I can be myself because the chains are off."

Ireland has a great relationship with his fans; "I have really worked hard over the last two years to build up my relationship with the fans," the 23-year-old added.

"Even when I was doing a signing session a few months ago I ended up staying for over three hours.

"It comes naturally to me. Even though I came over from Ireland, the fans still regard me as one of them. I am very grateful for that."