Christian Burgess: I see myself as a centre-half, but Portsmouth right-back stint was real eye opener

The square peg has returned to his correct hole, yet Christian Burgess believes his game has benefited from a right-back stint.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 9:00 am
Christian Burgess enjoyed his brief spell at right-back for Pompey - but has now returned to familiar territory. Picture: Joe Pepler

For the first time in the 27-year-old’s career, he has this season been challenged to perform in an unfamiliar full-back slot.

Burgess served at right-back for three matches, including in the Carabao Cup at Championship club QPR, as Jackett sought a short-term solution.

There was even the hint of an assist from his right boot, when a deflected cross contributed towards Ronan Curtis’s goal against Burton.

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Now the long-serving Blues player is back in familiar territory, operating in the centre of defence.

Although his brief sabbatical did have its plus points.

‘I enjoyed the challenge and it is different. I enjoyed it, mixing it up a little bit,’ said Burgess.

‘As a centre-half you normally get the ball and give it, but I could get 4-6 touches at one time playing right-back.

‘It was good to play there and experience how a right-back sees the game. For me, going back to centre-half, I now see how my full-backs play, so it was pretty interesting actually.

‘It also makes you realise how much more responsibility you have at centre-half with your defensive duties.

‘I even did a little bit of work on the training ground practising my crossing, but it’s just kicking a ball at the end of the day, I’d like to think most professionals could put a few crosses in and it wouldn’t be too bad.

‘On the whole, I don’t think I looked too out of place, but it’s nice to be back at centre-half, where I see myself.’

The temporary role also unearthed a hidden talent for Burgess – long throws.

Although it’s not conducive for Fratton Park.

He added: ‘Despite having never really thrown the ball at centre-half, I have a long throw!

‘But it’s really hard at Fratton Park, the stands are quite close, so you don’t have much of a run up, while there is a big slope down towards the Fratton end.

‘So you are almost running up a hill with the smallest run up – and expected to get it near the six-yard box!’