Enda Stevens happy to take Pompey wing-back shift

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

Enda Stevens insists he is happy to make the switch to wing-back.

The Irish left-back was given the brief when boss Paul Cook opted to make the change to a 3-5-2 formation in the 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon.

I’m just happy to be playing and will play anywhere I’m told

Enda Stevens

With Matt Clarke introduced as a second-half susbtitute to form a three-man central defence, it meant Stevens patrolled the entire left flank, while Ben Davies was given the same role on the opposite side.

The former Aston Villa man is an attacking full-back anyway but insists he has no issue with the new task.

Stevens said: ‘It didn’t change too much for me.

‘Against Wimbledon, the tactics were to get the ball forward a lot quicker and press them higher up the pitch.

‘We started quite well and then it went a bit stale.

‘Then we changed to the wing-backs and we started getting a bit of joy but it wasn’t quite falling for us in the box.

‘With a bit more time to work on these things, I’m sure that will help.

‘It doesn’t make much difference to me.

‘I’m just happy to be playing and will play anywhere I’m told.

‘I just try to concentrate on my own performance.

‘Of course, it’s up to the manager whether we use that formation.

‘But I think we are all comfortable, no matter where we play.

‘It’s up to the manager to choose the formation and what system he wants to use.

‘He trusts us to go out and do a job.

‘He gives us the license to go out and roam.

‘Then it’s up to us to do that to the best of our ability.’

Although the latest home stalemate was a disappointing afternoon, Stevens is still confident Pompey are well-placed.

Although they are not in prime form at present, the Blues defender believes they will soon start stringing victories together.

He said: ‘Sometimes it’s hard to break teams down as they pay us a lot of respect.

‘But it’s also important we don’t switch off and get sloppy when we are trying to win games. You can lose tight games with one mistake.

‘So another draw is disappointing but it’s not the end of the world.

‘We need to find that run of games where we get a few wins on the bounce.

‘I can see it coming because we have a strong squad.

‘It’s been a bit frustrating for everyone – fans and players alike.

‘All I can ask is that the fans stick with us.

‘We’re fourth in the league so we are not far away and we know there is plenty of room for improvement.’

n Jack Whatmough will be the special guest for the Pompey supporters club central branch meeting tomorrow night (Chimes Bar, Fratton Park, 7.30pm).

The Blues defender was due to return to training this week after recovering from his knee injury.

New members are welcome to sign up on the night.