George happy to be the middle man

George McCartney admits he is more than happy to fill in as a central defender after playing an influential role there in our last two Premiership home victories.

Having stepped off the bench to replace Anton Ferdinand just 40 minutes into our 1-0 victory over Arsenal recently, the Irish defender repeated the feat again on Saturday against Sheffield United - entering the field with half an hour remaining after Danny Gabbidon suffered a hamstring injury.

And while he may be more used to taking on a full-back role, George insists he was eager to answer the call of duty and play his part in another winning performance once again.

"I think if you ask any player, they will be happy just to get on the pitch and play for the team," he says. "Obviously I prefer to be at left-back, but I'm more than happy to play in the centre of defence, or anywhere else the manager needs me to do a job.

"It was unfortunate for Danny, who had been playing so well, but it enabled me to get another run-out and I'm just glad to have ended up on the winning side again.

"It was a tough game, one we had to win and probably expected to win, but Sheffield United kept scrapping away and caused us a lot of problems.

"They haven't changed their team much from when I played against them for Sunderland in the Championship, they are a big, strong, physical side, and very tough to break down.

"At the minute, though, we are more concerned with results than performances, and the important thing is that we got three points, so hopefully we can build on that and put a winning run together now."

By Danny Francis