While his stand-in centrehalf role alongside Michael Turner in last Saturdays victory over Liverpool may have raised eyebrows among the Black Cats faithful, Cana revealed that he is almost as comfortable in that position as his more accustomed midfield berth.
But apart from a brief period during a pre-season game at Hearts, Cana had never played as part of the Sunderland back four, nor operated as a defender in training.
However, his experience of playing centre-half at international level for Albania and with former club Marseilles gave him the confidence to shift seamlessly into the role.
It was a surprise when the manager said I was being put there but when you know and trust your team-mates its not difficult to change position,
admitted the Sunderland captain who earned rave reviews for his display.
Its never easy to play against Liverpool, they are international stars. I have played there before, it is not a new position for me. I have a lot of experience in the centre of defence for my national team and sometimes for Marseilles too.
But it was the first time I have played there for Sunderland.
It wasnt easy of course but the manager decided to put me in there and I tried to use my experience in that position.
We havent had training sessions here when I have played in central defence.
Cana is expected to revert to his holding midfield role for tomorrows trip to Birmingham City where the absence of the injured Lee Cattermole offers Jordan Henderson and Bolo Zenden a chance to secure an extended run in the side.
The Albanian knows Zenden from their time playing in the French first division and revealed that he was happy to recommend his former teammate to the manager.
I played with Bolo for two years at Marseilles and I was surprised to see him arrive at Sunderland, he said.
Its something good for us he is fantastic player with great experience and hell help us a lot. The manager said Bolo is coming here to train with us next week and I said Wow! it was a surprise.
I had a good relationship with him at Marseilles so I am really happy that he is here hell be an important player for us, he is a club player.
The manager asked me about Bolo. He asked if he would be fit and I said you can never know after being out for three months, but I could tell him what he was like as a player and a man.
The manager knew about him from when he played in England.
If Cana picks up a yellow card at St Andrews he will be forced to miss one match but he refuses to change his combative playing style.
I am not the first on four yellow cards. I will not change my game, I dont care it is not something important, he said.