JON WALTERS MAKES no secret of the fact that he sees himself, first and foremost, as a striker.
But he’s happy to sacrifice personal preference for the greater good if it means getting a start against Sweden.
With regular wide man Aiden McGeady absent through injury, assistant manager Marco Tardelli hinted that Walters could start on the wing for Friday night’s crucial World Cup qualifier.
It’s a job that he has done for Ireland in the past and with the race for Group C’s runner-up spot hanging in the balance, it would be no surprise if Giovanni Trapattoni reverts to that system.
“I’ve always said that I prefer to play up front as a striker,” Walters said after training in Malahide this morning, “but in the past few years I’ve played as a wide man whether it be right or left.
When you’re called upon you do your best. The past few years have been ok playing out there, so it’s nothing new to me.
Sweden come to Dublin missing a few key players including Celtic’s Mikael Lustig who has an ankle injury.
After battling to a 0-0 draw in Stockholm, Ireland will approach Friday’s game with confidence but Walters acknowledges that they need to bring some of their resilient away form to bear in the Aviva Stadium.
“We’ve been really good in the last couple of years at shutting out teams, especially the so-called bigger teams away from home where we can work for each other and limit their chances.
“At home the emphasis is on being a bit more attacking.
You could say we’re a little bit more set up to get the right result away from home, but obviously we’ve got to throw caution to the wind a little bit and go and get the three points on Friday.
He added: “It would be good to get the three points and a nice scalp. These two games are going to define where we end up in the group.”