DAVID Vaughan hopes he can prove himself in central midfield rather than solve Sunderland’s dilemma on the left.
Steve Bruce has used a different player on the left-hand side of midfield in each of Sunderland’s three pre-season encounters, with Vaughan the latest incumbent in Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to Hannover 96.
Long-term target Charles N’Zogbia would have been the perfect solution on the wing, but his wage demands and Wigan’s price tag have scuppered Sunderland’s chances of landing the unsettled Frenchman.
With Black Cats boss Bruce needing to sell before he can buy, the likes of Vaughan, Kieran Richardson, Jack Colback, Steed Malbranque and Stephane Sessegnon could all be pressed into action on the left.
But Vaughan, who played there during his time at Real Sociedad and Crewe, wants to showcase his ability in the middle – starting with the final clash of Sunderland’s German pre-season tour against Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow.
Vaughan told the Echo: “I didn’t play much on the left at Blackpool. The last couple of years, I’ve been playing in the middle.
“The gaffer probably just gave me a run-out on the left the other night to try something. But hopefully I can play regularly in the middle.
“Up until the last couple of years, I always played on the left. But Ian Holloway switched me as soon as he came to Blackpool.
“Personally, I think that’s my best position and that’s where I’ve played consistently.”
Sunderland are in for another tough encounter against Monchengladbach despite the German outfit narrowly avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga last season.
Bruce’s men head into the the game on the back of their first pre-season defeat, yet Vaughan knows the outing against Hannover was a productive one with Sunderland forced to toil hard on their off-the-ball work.
“Obviously you want to play against the top teams,” said the Welsh international.
“It’s a bit of a test when you’re playing them so early in pre-season. But you’d rather play them than easy games where you get nothing out of them.
“It was a tough game against Hannover. We were obviously disappointed to lose it but it was a good work-out for the lads.
“It was 90 minutes for me under my belt which will hopefully improve my fitness for the next few weeks.
“We gave away a few poor goals, but in the second half we were more pleased with how we played. “There were some good things to take out of the game.
“Before the game, the manager obviously worked on our pressing off the ball and trying to win it back quickly. That’s what we were trying to do. We worked hard on that, especially second half.
“Obviously we’ve had a few games now and some double sessions which have been quite tiring. But that’s what pre-season is all about really.”