Sam Allardyce comments on the role he wants Jack Rodwell to play for Sunderland

Jack Rodwell

Allardyce would prefer not to use Rodwell at centre-back despite their lack of options in that area.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said he will not be tempted to play Jack Rodwell at centre-back despite the lack of options the side has in that area at the moment.

Allardyce has told the Sunderland Echo that he wants to see the ex-Everton and Manchester City man in his more natural central midfield position, though has said he is capable of playing at the heart of the defence.

The Black Cats boss, however, has said he won't have the same effect on the game in a more defensive role. 

He said: “He has the potential, yes, but if I wanted to make him a centre-half I would really want to be teaching him in pre-season the basics of the position.

“That position would also nullify a lot of the abilities that he has got – he’s two-footed, he can pass the ball well, he can run with the ball.

“He could come out from the back and play with it, but he wouldn’t have the same effect that he can do in midfield.

“I think midfield is his best position.”

The shortage of options at the heart of the defence at the moment is a problem for Allardyce with Younes Kaboul currently sidelined, and John O'Shea also struggling with an injury, but despite that it appears that he doesn't want Rodwell limited in his play, and feels he should be able to make an effective contribution in the middle of the park as much as possible.

Given his comments saying that he would like a pre-season to teach him 'the basics', that suggests he has one or two reservations about him playing the role on a semi-regular basis. However, it is handy for him to have that option of a versatile player to fill in for one or two games should be required. 

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