Jack Rodwell put off a defensive role by Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba

04 March 2010 11:02
There has been plenty of conjecture about the England Under-21 international's most suitable future position for club and country but Rodwell, 18, has insisted for now he should leave central defensive duties and the challenge of halting Liverpool forward Torres and Chelsea's Drogba to Phil Jagielka, Joseph Yobo and Sylvain Distin.

Rodwell said: "At the moment I am playing a more defensive role at Everton but I can also get forward as well. I am just happy to play, but I prefer a more holding position in midfield.

"There is no need for me to drop back to being a defender, but maybe in a few years time I might get a bit more experience and become a centre half.

"I think it is a tough ask for a young centre half to come across the likes of Drogba and Torres so I am happy where I am at the moment."

Rodwell has been linked with Manchester United following his emergence at Everton performances but has insisted the speculation will not go to his head.

"I don't think about anything," Rodwell added. "I am level-headed enough not to think about things like that. I am happy at Everton and I can't do anything else other than concentrate on my own game.

"I have had more chances because of injuries but if they were fit I would like to think I would have played a lot of games.

"We have had a lot of injuries this season and our best player, Mikel Arteta, has been out for a year. He has started to come back and Victor Anichebe has been out for over a year. Jagielka has been out as well."

Rodwell is optimistic Everton, who host Hull on Sunday, can secure to return to the Europa League place this season.

"We are confident about getting into Europe but we have to keep winning, starting against Hull," Rodwell said. "We agree we are now doing well at Everton, beating the big teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City but I think it is time to start beating the teams who are pushing for Europe like Aston Villa.

"We had a tough game at Spurs on Sunday and should have got three points from there. Games like that need to be won. We certainly need three points against Hull to give us a good chance of making Europe.

"When we lost to Hull earlier this season we weren't doing that well and the confidence was not good but we have picked it up from there and we are a different team.

"The manager is great and is well respected throughout the squad. I think it is very much a case of players coming back and we have got into a run of form, which we have done of late, whereas at the beginning of the season the 1-0s were going against us a lot more."

Rodwell spoke out after a below-par performance in the England Under-21s' 2-1 defeat by Greece in their 2011 European Championship qualifier against in Doncaster.

"I was disappointed with both the performance and the result," he said. "If we had got the result we would still have been happy as we would be top of the group and looking good, but we have not done that so we are really disappointed.

"We did not get going on the night and we know that. That is what the manager [Stuart Pearce] told us but he also said we have got games in August and September where we can come back stronger.

"He did not need to tell us anything ion the dressing room because we know we can play a lot better than that. I played in the centre with Lee Cattermole but we could no quite work it out.

"We played direct a bit but we weren't getting the second balls and it was that story all night. We never got our rhythm going. It is so disappointing to lose, but we will all come back stringer from it. We have to finish off the season well with our clubs and still come through this group.

"It doesn't change things about going to Portugal, because we have to go there and win. It was not my best game against Greece, far from it. There are no excuses, because the whole team did no do well. Nothing went right for us but we sensed it was not going to be our night."

Source: Telegraph

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