Liam Rosenior: I'm answer to Hull City's left wing-back woes
LIAM Rosenior believes he can be the long-term answer to Hull City's left wing-back problems to spare manager Steve Bruce an enforced move into the transfer market.
The loss of Joe Dudgeon to injury for the remainder of the season this week has cast doubt over the feasibility of a 3-5-2 formation favoured by Bruce for much of his reign.
Although veteran Andy Dawson and the untested Conor Townsend both provide cover in an orthodox left-back role, the attacking demands placed on the wing-backs led Bruce to recall Rosenior for the 2-1 win at Bristol City last weekend.
A switch from the right to left flank proved to be a seamless one for Rosenior at Ashton Gate and the 27-year-old has put his hand up to retain the position when Barnsley arrive at the KC Stadium tomorrow.
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"I really enjoyed it at Bristol City, even if I did miss an open goal!" he said in reference to a spurned headed chance at Ashton Gate.
"It might have raised a few eyebrows, but I played half of my Premier League career, which is about 50 games, at left-back.
"It's something I've been used to, being on the other side, and getting forward and attacking is something I love doing too.
"I'm delighted to be a part of it again, but on the other side of it I feel terrible for Dudge.
"He's been magnificent since he arrived here and I want to be able to do him justice. He's going through a hard time but he'll come back stronger."
A return to the first-team picture, with four consecutive starts to his name, has redressed the balance on a frustrating season for Rosenior.
After fighting back from an Achilles injury that threatened to write off his campaign before it had begun, the former Fulham and Reading defender was forced out of the City side when Ahmed Elmohamady arrived in the final days of the transfer window.
Six games were spent on the sidelines until his comeback at Sheffield Wednesday last month and Rosenior admits his temporary fall from grace was not easy to accept.
"Not playing was hard to take if I'm honest," he added.
"I had a good couple of seasons and throughout the Championship people were talking about me pushing on.
"To then find yourself not playing was tough but that's always a manager's decision and I respect that.
"It's part of football not to play. The top, top players get dropped from time to time and it's about coming back stronger.
"Hopefully, now I'm in a position where I can do something about it and get back to my old self playing regularly again."
The need to find regular football has been made increasingly pressing for Rosenior this season as he attempts to win a new contract at the KC Stadium.
As one of several players assured that talks would be held over last summer, a fresh deal had appeared a formality under Bruce's predecessor Nick Barmby.
Barmby's demise subsequently left those plans in ruins and Rosenior admits he remains uncertain where his future lies beyond next summer.
Dialogue with Bruce over a new deal has been classed as "brief" to date and the City boss has revealed contractual talks have since been put on ice until January.
Rosenior is content to bide his time for now, but wants to prove he can continue his love affair with City.
"Things were said before about the club looking to offer a new contract, but that hasn't been the case yet," he explained.
"Things move on, though, that's football. It can change very quickly and I'm old enough to understand that.
"There's no way I'd ever let that affect my form. I've got kids and a family who are happy here, but I don't know where I'll be in 12 months.
"We've spoken about it very briefly and the manager said he was aware of my situation. It's just up to me to work hard.
"We've got a manager who's got years of experience and bringing the best out of us.
"I want to be a part of it and show my true self because I don't feel I've been able to do that yet."