Wilson happier being centre of attention

Marc Wilson surveyed his new Pompey role and insisted – now you'll see the best of me.

The 22-year-old has been employed by Avram Grant as a central midfielder for the past three matches.

He has largely impressed in the process, putting in some excellent displays sat in front of the back four.

For Wilson, it is a return to the position he has occupied almost all of his footballing life.

Despite having played nearly every one of his 36 Blues games at the back, he was converted to a defender only last year.

Since then he has served under Tony Adams, Paul Hart and now Grant as a right-back and – primarily – a centre half.

Yet it is as a midfielder the Republic of Ireland international remains more comfortable performing as.

He will again be pushing for that role in Grant's side travelling to Liverpool on Monday.

And Pompey's former young player of the year is confident he can continue to impress.

He said: 'I love playing in midfield, that's my position.

'It's where I have played my whole life. I only got chucked into defence at the end of last year. It was not by choice, really.

'Different managers have come in and played me in defence – but I'm not going to refuse to play.

'No player would do that, I just love playing in the team.

'If I had my choice, though, I would play in midfield.

'I definitely think I'm more effective there.

'I like getting on the ball when I can.

'I like passing it, spreading the play, just getting on the ball and playing football.

'It wasn't a problem going back in there having played all season in


'It came more natural to me more than anything because I've played it so many times before.

'I've been enjoying it. Obviously it's good playing with Jamie (O'Hara) in there and Michael (Brown) as well.

'Against Birmingham in the week I played with a little niggle.

'But I just had to get on with it and try to do something for the team.

'I'm just happy to play in the team and happy to play for Portsmouth.'

The positional switch has arrived after Wilson forced his way into the Republic of Ireland squad as a defender.

Wilson's Premier League form as a centre half this season has caught the eye of Giovanni Trapattoni.

That won him his maiden senior international call-up two weeks ago after being named in the Italian's side taking on Brazil in a friendly.

Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he remained an unused substitute.

Still, he is clearly in the manager's thinking.

With the ability to play midfield another string to his bow, it's a versatility which could prove invaluable.

For the time being, it's back to domestic duty with an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon.

However, having now tasted the international set-up, Wilson wants plenty more.

He added: 'It was a great experience for me joining up with the Republic of Ireland, the lads were fantastic.

'It was a bit of a change from Portsmouth and I enjoyed it. Hopefully it won't be the last time.

'The manager is a good guy, a really good character and it was a good


'I suppose I can play in a few positions so fingers crossed I can keep my place in the squad. I want to be part of it again.'

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