STEVEN Fletcher says he is happy to play in whatever strike role manager Martin O’Neill chooses for him.
The Scot has played most of his recent career as a lone striker, but the Black Cats’ leading scorer is confident he can fit into whatever game-plan the manager devises.
Since the arrival of ex-Swansea striker Danny Graham in January, a big talking point among fans has been whether O’Neill can accomodate Fletcher, Graham and Stephane Sessegnon in his starting XI.
And the Scottish international’s belief in his versatility only adds further spice to the debate.
“I never used to think of myself as a target-man when I first started, but I’ve learned to deal with it,” he revealed. “I’ve tried to mould myself into one.
“I used to play off a main striker when I was at Hibernian because I was actually quite small when I broke into the first team – although I’ve obviously grown a bit!
“But I don’t mind whatever system I’m played in. I’m sure I’d adapt.
“I’m happy to play on my own up front, although I know not everyone is, but for me I quite like the added pressure of the extra responsibility.
“I quite enjoy it.
“But having said that, I’m OK in any system.”
Fletcher, Graham and Sessegnon had plenty of time to train together in a week-long stay in Dubai in the wake of their game against Arsenal earlier this month, and whatever happens, Fletcher says it is great for the club to have the new £5m forward on board.
“It’s good to have Danny here,” he said.
“We’ve spoken with the gaffer about it, and it’s up to him to decide what formation he wants to play.
“But at least now he knows he has all sorts of options in terms of how to use me and Danny and Stephane.
“That’s always good because not many managers have options, but I think he has them in abundance, so it’s good for him and us.
“The gaffer changes things around all the time in training and five-a-sides, so we are always working on combinations of players, which means we’re always working together.
“And even if Danny’s on the other side, you can always watch what he’s doing to pick up on how he plays.
“So it’s all good for us as a squad.”