SEB Larsson has been the man in the middle for Sunderland since Adam Johnson’s arrival, but says he is happy to be shifted around to suit Martin O’Neill’s team plans.
The 27-year-old Swede has played in all of Sunderland’s Premier League games so far this season, primarily in central midfield, but occasionally in the right-wing position he was usually deployed in during his first season at the Stadium of Light.
And he says he has relished the challenge of trying to influence the game from the centre of the park, as well as the wing.
“When it comes to playing in a central position or out wide, I don’t mind at all,” reflected the former Birmingham City man.
“It’s different when you start playing in midfield and then you get moved back into defence – I don’t like that.
“But anywhere in midfield, I don’t mind.
“I’ve enjoyed playing in that central position.
“The main thing when you move inside, which I’m not used to, is your positioning. It’s a bit more vital.
“When you’re on the wing, it’s not as important to hold your position all the time.
“When you’re in the middle, you have to protect your back four, hold the team together.
“It’s the one thing I’ve tried to focus on when I’ve been there this season.
“On the other hand, it’s a good, strong position – you get the ball a bit more often and get to play a bit more, which I really enjoy.”
Larsson was speaking in interview on international duty with Sweden, ahead of their game against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn tomorrow night.
He is keen to play in that match, and Sweden’s game against Germany on Tuesday, so he can look forward to a landmark moment in his career later in the year.
He explained:“I have 47 caps at the moment, so if I play in those two, we’ll have England at home in November and that will be my 50th cap.
“They’re opening a new national stadium in Stockholm as well, so that’ll be good – it would be really nice.
“You want to get as many caps as you can and 50 is a landmark.
“It’s apt if it is against England, where I’ve spent all my career.
“England always has been a big rival for Sweden.
“Everyone knows we lost at the Euros and we’ll want to put that right.
“Everyone back home follows English football – it’s by far the biggest league that our supporters follow.
“So whenever England play against Sweden it’s one of those big games for us.
“It’s great to have that game to open a new stadium with and it would be great to win my 50th cap in it.”