STEVEN Fletcher says he is happy to play in whatever strike role Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill chooses for him.
And although he has played most of his recent career as a lone striker and got used to the role, the Black Cats’ leading scorer is confident he can fit into whatever game-plan the manager devises.
Since last month’s arrival of striker Danny Graham from Swansea City, the big talking points among fans have been how the Black Cats’ boss will field three strikers who all have good cases for first-team starts.
And the Scotland international’s belief in his versatility only adds further spice to the debate.
“I never used to think of myself as a target-man when I first started but I’ve learned to deal with it,” he revealed. “I’ve tried to mould myself into one.
“I used to play off a main striker when I was at Hibernian, because I was actually quite small when I broke into the first team – although I’ve obviously grown a bit!
“But I don’t mind whatever system I’m played in. I’m sure I’d adapt.
“I’m happy to play on my own up front, although I know not everyone is, but, for me, I quite like the added pressure of the extra responsibility.
“I quite enjoy it.
“But, having said that, I’m OK in any system.”
Fletcher, Graham and Stephane Sessegnon had plenty of time to train together in a week-long stay in Dubai, following the defeat to Arsenal 12 days ago, and whatever happens, Fletcher says it is great for the club to have the new £5million forward on board.
“It’s good to have Danny here,” said the former Burnley and Wolves man.
“We’ve spoken with the gaffer about it and it’s up to him to decide what formation he wants to play.
“But at least now he knows he has all sorts of options in terms of how to use me and Danny and Stephane Sessegnon.
“That’s always good because not many managers have options, but I think he has them in abundance, so it’s good for him and us.
“The gaffer changes things around all the time in training and five-a-sides, so we are always working on combinations of players, which means we’re always working together.
“And even if Danny’s on the other side, you can always watch what he’s doing to pick up on how he plays.
“So it’s all good for us as a squad.”