Since arriving at Meadow Lane, Gary Liddle has been a consistent performer at the heart of defence but has now been tasked with a more advanced role as Notts County prepare for a Christmas fightback.
Notts are currently six points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table but recent performances suggest that a turning point is not far away.
Liddle’s switch to midfield has been a contributor to the improvements, as he produced a Man of the Match display against Play-Off contenders Bradford City ahead of another strong showing against in-form Brentford.
Although initially brought to Meadow Lane as a midfielder last summer, the Magpies’ number four was an ever-present in the Notts rearguard during 2012.13 and swept up with a host of personal accolades at the End of Season Awards Dinner.
In pre-season Liddle had spoke of his desire to remain a defender but has now developed a renewed enthusiasm for a role in the County engine room, as he prepares for a possible extended run in midfield.
He told Magpie Player: “Just moving into there, that first 15 minutes or so at Bradford felt a bit weird and I didn’t really know where to run or anything but I’ve been a first team player now for seven or eight years and for probably half of that I’ve played in both positions – four years in defence and another four in midfield.
“You soon get used to it, especially playing with Boucs (Andre Boucaud) in there, it just gives me that licence to get forward and to get on the end of things.
“Thankfully I was on the end of one at Bradford and was unlucky not to score again against Brentford.
“Hopefully if selected in that position I can get on the end of another against Gillingham.
“If I can cement a position, whether it be defence or in midfield, then that’d be great.
“Maybe this manager sees me as a midfielder?"
Laughing, he adds: "Whether he’s seen my goal-scoring attributes, I don't know?
“I’m happy to play wherever I need to play if it helps the team.
“No-one can go complaining that they don’t want to play in this or that position, especially with the position that we’re in.
“We’re all in this together and I’d play in goal if I had to.”
To view the full interview with the Magpies’ number four, sign in to Magpie Player.
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BETTING TIP | Liddle came close to finding the net against Brentford after his Bradford goal. You can back the midfielder to score against Gillingham at odds of 7/1.