Bertrand relishing new role in the team

By SFC Media time Tue 02 Feb Club

Ryan Bertrand has embraced his new role on the left side of a back three, and says the switch to a different formation has given Saints a better sense of stability.

Bertrand traditionally operates as a full-back, but has played as a left-sided centre-half during the last three games.


That run has seen the team pick up a maximum nine points, without conceding a goal, featuring victories at home to Watford and West Brom before the triumph at Manchester United.


Bertrand explained how being part of a back three alongside Virgil van Dijk and José Fonte is something he has relished.


"I'm enjoying it, to be honest,” he told ahead of tonight’s trip to Arsenal.


“I think we've adjusted to three at the back, with two wing backs alongside the midfield three, and it paid dividends. The boys have really gelled into that formation and shown how good we can be with the adaption.


“We've got a brilliant cohesiveness between the three of us, and even with the two wing-backs, the midfield and the front – we have great communication, and it means we can really go and get on top of the opposition and really get aggressive with them.”


On the difference between playing as a full-back and his latest role, Bertrand said: "You're more of a centre-back first and foremost and your natural ability in that position is an added bonus, because we do have quite a lot of possession between the back three, and it's important that the back three do pick the right passes and get us on our way.”


After an eight-match winless run, Saints have responded in fine fashion over their last three games.


"We managed to eradicate those mistakes and come together as a team and finally get some sort of consistency together,” said Bertrand.

“That's what we were looking for, just a touch of stability within the team, and it's nice to know we've finally kind of found that and in the back three to five we can install that stability for us to then progress forward.”


Bertrand also had words of praise for Matt Targett, who has been impressing in the left wing-back role during this recent run.


“He's been fantastic whenever he's had to play,” said Bertrand. “He's always willing to learn and listen, and he's contributed with some important moments in the games he has played there.

"We've got a good relationship and understanding about when to cover each other and when to attack and defend, so it's paying off well. I think he's done very well.”

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