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Jonathan on defensive grounds

17 October 2013

Centre-half or left back?

Jonathan Grounds does not see his long-term future as a central defender for Latics.

The 25-year-old (pictured) views himself primarily as a left back which is where he has spent most of his playing days.

Injuries to central defenders, however, has resulted in Lee Johnson asking Grounds to move inside to play alongside James Tarkowski.

Grounds explained: "Full back is the position I prefer and it is where I have played most of my games.

"When I was at Middlesbrough you were encouraged to be able to play in a number of positions.

"In the youth team and reserves I played centre half and was comfortable playing there."

Grounds admitted it was challenging initially to find his bearings at centre back.

He said: "It is a case of hoping the players around you will help by talking and stopping you shuffling over to the full-back position.

"It is important to communicate with the players around you, but after a few games you get your bearings and realise you cannot get dragged out wide and leave the team exposed."

Grounds believes he and Tarkowski have struck up a useful partnership explaining no team has ripped Latics apart.

He continued: "I think we play off each other quite well - Tarky attacks the ball and I cover around him.

"We also communicate well game by game, not only with each other but with the players around us."

Grounds conceded there have been challenges with Matteo Lanzoni and Genseric Kusunga, two recently signed defenders, only speaking pigeon English.

He said: "It was like speaking in Chinese whispers when I was trying to get a message to Matteo through Kusunga.

"You can get round it, though, with hand signals and the odd scream!"


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