Stephen Ireland says he is 'really determined' to make an impact at Aston Villa this season after revealing he was sent to Newcastle United against his will.
The midfielder joined Villa from Manchester City last summer, but made just 12 appearances prior to a January loan move to Newcastle.
Injury restricted Ireland to just two substitute outings for the Magpies after he had failed to find favour with former Villa boss Gerard Houllier.
With Alex McLeish now in charge in the Midlands, Ireland is hoping that he will be given an opportunity to prove why he became a fans' favourite at City.
"I've come back this year really determined and really ready to give it a good shot, and hopefully this manager gives me a fair go, which I haven't had in a while," Ireland told Sky Sports News.
"That's all I'm asking for, is a fair shot. I'm not asking for special treatment, I'm just asking for a fair crack at playing.
"It's very difficult for confidence. Like you say I was a fans' favourite (at City), and that's what I wanted to become here, have that same support of the fans.
"I haven't played five games in a row since Mark Hughes (was City manager), so it's not as if I've played in 20 or 30 games and not done anything.
"I haven't had the opportunity to perform to even be in that situation. I came in for training and went home. My job was just training, that was it."
Regarding his winter move to St James' Park, Ireland said: "I got sent to Newcastle basically against my own will.
"I came here as a new signing, and I was here to play every second of every game. I came here really determined and wanted to kick on.
"I came here under Kevin MacDonald and everything seemed fine and was going in the right direction.
"Gerard came in, and everyone has their own opinions, and I wasn't for him I guess."