Walters happy to drive wide load

11 October 2012 09:17

Jon Walters is ready to help the Republic of Ireland do to Germany what Stoke do to the rest of the Barclays Premier League in pursuit of World Cup qualification points.

The 29-year-old is a striker by trade, but has played much of his football this season out wide, and that is a role he may get to reprise for Ireland.

"No, I don't mind it, to be fair. As long as you are playing, it's no bother at all," Walters said.

"At Stoke, Crouchy [Peter Crouch] has been on his own up front and me and Michael Kightly have been playing in the wide positions, dropping in and defending and almost playing as right and left-back in some games.

"As long as you are playing, you have no qualms and at Stoke, I am enjoying that position thoroughly."

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has signalled his intention to employ a trio of central midfielders in an attempt to match Germany's 4-3-3 formation.

Winger Aiden McGeady is likely to provide the width on one side, but either Walters or Simon Cox could be used on the other behind lone frontman Robbie Keane.

Trapattoni has decided to change the shape of his team, not without prompting, after seeing his midfield exposed by the likes of Russia, Spain and Italy in the recent past.

He is hoping both to limit dangerman Mesut Ozil's influence and win a greater share of the possession and from his experience, Walters believes the plan could work.

"With the three in midfield, the onus is on keeping the ball and dominating the midfield," he said. "That's what we have done at Stoke, we have tended to keep the ball a lot better, and you do get more chances going forward and a lot of runners."

Source: PA