ST MIRREN star David van Zanten insists he’s happy to ‘wing it’ for the Buddies this season as he tries to nail down a place in the first team.
The Irish ace played at wing-back in the Renfrewshire Cup Final win against Morton at Cappielow last month as Saints gaffer Danny Lennon experimented with a three-man defence.
And, with the Paisley squad lacking an out-and-out left-back following the departure of Jeroen Tesselaar to SPL rivals Kilmarnock, there may well be other occasions this season when Lennon chooses to play three centre-halves.
That would mean 30-year-old van Zanten being asked to push further forward in his wing-back role and he has vowed to help out as required ... even though it will test his fitness to the limit.
He told Express Sports: “It’s tough playing as a wing-back, especially when you have the ball, because you then become an out-and-out winger at times.
“Also, when you have lost possession, you have to get back to try to retrieve the ball, so playing in that position does involve a lot of running, but I’m happy to play wherever I’m asked.
“I feel comfortable anywhere on that right-hand side and the most important thing for me is to be in the starting 11 for the first game of the season against Inverness.”
Former Celtic starlet van Zanten also admits that each of the players at St Mirren Park will have to be prepared to be versatile this season as Lennon tries to cope with one of the smallest squads in the SPL.
The likes of David Barron proved his versatility last season by operating at right-back, left-back and as a holding midfielder.
Saints skipper Jim Goodwin also did his bit by playing in the midfield anchor role and helping out in central defence as and when required.
And van Zanten is happy that Lennon has mixed things up during pre-season by using different formations in the games against the likes of Morton, Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley so that he can get a better idea of which positions can be covered by the various members of his squad.
Vanzy, who operated in his more usual right-back position against Accrington at the Crown Ground on Sunday when he replaced Barron in a four-man defence for the second half, said: “Hopefully, our pre-season games have given me the chance to show the manager that I can hit the ground running now that the new season is kicking off.”