Nigel Bides His Time

Nigel Winterburn says he reluctantly accepts not being in the first team at present.

Nigel, who started the season at left back but has since made way for Scott Minto, says:

"It is always frustrating when you are not playing but you have got to accept what the manager says.

"Luckily I have managed to hold down a regular place at most of the clubs I have been at - so it is difficult now but no one has a divine right to be in the team and we are all battling for 11 positions.

"Scott has done fairly well in the team so I wouldn't expect him to be left out in the near future - we have a friendly rivalry.

"He has had a lot of injuries since he has been at the club but he is just starting to get a clear run now, and I certainly haven't fallen out with Scott - we are still friends but we know that each one wants that position."

Nigel admits he has had a chat with Glenn Roeder about the situation and adds:

"I have spoken to Glenn about certain things but that is private what has gone on.

"I understand the situation, I have got to get on with it, and train as hard as I can - so that if I do get back in I am fit enough to do myself justice.

"That is my main worry - that if I spend a lot of time out the team I can't keep my match fitness.

"In the last six months of my contract at Arsenal I felt I was half a yard or a yard off the pace when I came back.

"It is important that I stay as fit as I can so if I do play I won't let the team down.

"That is my biggest worry; I don't want to play if I am not 100% ready and if I do play I don't want to let the team down."

Meanwhile, he is delighted the team have started picking up points and adds:

"You have got to be pleased; it is my last year here and I would like to leave with us in the Premiership - and I am sure we will, no doubt.

"The last two results have shown a lot of people who have been knocking us very early again that we are capable of finishing in a decent position in the league.

"We know we have had a poor beginning and the players have said it is not good enough.

"We have started at the bottom and we really need another fantastic performance on Sunday and if we can get another three points that will push us up to half way.

"To come from where we have would be a nice recovery but it is one we can work on even further."

As for the arrival in town this weekend of Everton hotshot Wayne Rooney, Glenn adds:

"To be quite honest I don't know too much about him; I have just seen little bits on the telly.

"He looks to be a very exciting player and a level headed lad.

"I am sure he can be a star if he is looked after in the right way and it looks as if he is being."

But Nigel feels the big test for him will be next season, and he explains:

"Anyone you don't come up against, no matter how young or old, in their first season can give you problems because you don't know what to expect from them.

"The next season will probably be the true test because everyone will know who Wayne Rooney is.

"But I am sure he is capable even at 17 of living with the expectation and high hopes for him."