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Left-back Macca gets by with a little help from his friends
VERSATILE skipper Alan McCormack believes playing alongside winger Raffa De Vita and defender Darren Ward has helped him quickly settle into his new role at left-back.
Having started life at the County Ground as a central midfielder, the Irishman was moved into the centre of defence by manager Paolo Di Canio with great effect last season, where he played a vital role in Town’s League Two title triumph.
Since the departure of former captain Paul Caddis McCormack has also played several games at right-back, but an injury to Jay McEveley has pressed him into action on the opposite flank.
The 28-year-old doesn’t mind where he plays, but believes he has settled into yet another new position with ease thanks to the quality which lines up around him.
“I don’t mind where I play, and I quite enjoy being at full-back because you are involved in the play a lot more and you can get forward and join in the attacks, where at centre-half you have to pull on the brakes and not get carried away,” he said.
“But I am happy at left-back, and everyone knows we work on our team shape nearly 24-hours a day, and it doesn’t take long to get to know the basics, and in football if you get them right and put 100 per cent into the game you have a very good chance of doing well whatever position you play in.
“I am fortunate to have a very experienced player next to me in Darren Ward, and a player in fine form, Raffa De Vita in front of me as well as Gary Roberts who can come in.
“When I was in the centre the gaffer asked me to not go forward because there are better players in this league and we can be punished a lot more, it was a little frustrating because it was a part of my game I enjoy.”
McCormack has spent the majority of his spell at left-back playing behind winger De Vita, and the Town skipper has been impressed with, but not surprised by, his teammate’s recent goalscoring form.
“I don’t think Raffa has been out of form, he is not that type of player, and he is technically very very gifted,” he said.
“He has come from a good background at a Premiership club, and the Italians are known for their technique and he has certainly got that.
“He has waited for his chance and he has not moaned and he has not sulked, and I think if any player looks at Raffa and how he handles himself he is getting his rewards now.
“Any footballer that has confidence is a good thing, and if you are an average footballer with confidence you will play well, and if you are a world class footballer who is low on confidence you will not be at your best.
“It is all about confidence, and Raffa is full of it at the moment, and that spreads throughout the team and Joe Devera and Darren Ward have been superb, and that comes from training Monday to Friday.