ANDY WILKINSON says he will be more than happy to take over the reins from Marc Wilson at left back . . . after the Republic of Ireland international suffered a broken leg during Saturday's goalless draw with Sunderland.
Wilkinson, who has lost his regular starting role at right back to summer-signing Geoff Cameron, looks the most likely candidate to fill the vacant role on the left-hand side after adjusting to the role in last weekend's encounter.
The 28-year-old defender says he would have no qualms about switching from his more accustomed position, citing the fact that he has already occupied that slot on numerous other occasions during his ten-year playing career.
"It's totally down to the gaffer who he thinks is best suited to come in and play at left back, but I am definitely ready to step in if he feels I am the best option," the Stone-born defender said.
"I will play anywhere on the field and I have played at left back before, so it wouldn't be something that is totally new to me.
"I have predominantly played at right back over the past couple of years, but I wouldn't be fazed by playing on the left hand side."
He added: "It's hugely unfortunate for Willo to pick up an injury like this, because he has been playing so well in that position over the past couple of seasons. In fact, I would go as far as to say he has been arguably our most consistent performer."
Meanwhile, Wilkinson says he has been a little surprised by the media attention for the professionalism he displayed after a clumsy challenge from Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner on Saturday.
"I'm a bit shocked by it to be honest," he smiled. "It was a badly timed challenge and that was it - these things happen. I wasn't hurt so I got up - I would never stay down if I wasn't legitimately hurt.
"We are role models to kids and I have a son. If I saw him rolling around on the floor like a big girl, I wouldn't like it. I would want him to get up and get on with it, so we as players have to lead by example."