Antonio Valencia happy to be a team player

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Antonio Valencia insists he is willing to play wherever he is needed if it helps to assuage Manchester United’s current injury problems.

The Ecuadorian was deployed at wing-back in last weekend’s win over Arsenal, having been used as a conventional right-back in the two games before that.

He’s also played in his customary winger role and even central midfield so far this term, demonstrating a useful versatility with so many of his team-mates sidelined at one point or another.

The 29-year-old told United Review, the club’s official matchday programme: “The manager has decided to play me in a number of positions: sometimes right-back, sometimes wide midfield, other times in central midfield. These are decisions he takes and what I do is take them on board and put them into practice.

“You have to really concentrate for the entire 90 minutes [at right-back]. You can’t afford to make any kind of mistake because, if you do, the forwards you are up against are then in on your goal.”

He continued: “We are having a run of bad luck at the moment with injuries, where we always seem to have a few players out, but we’re hoping that before we reach the halfway point in the season we’ll have everyone back and we can go on to pick up enough points to get us firmly in the top three or four.”

Valencia is poised to make his 200th United appearance in Saturday’s home game against Hull City, who are managed by his former manager at Wigan Athletic – and ex-Reds skipper – Steve Bruce.

“He’s a really great manager,” Valencia said. “He was in charge towards the end of my time at Wigan, after Paul Jewell left. He’s tough when he needs to be and I’m very grateful for everything he did for me. I’m just hoping we can get the better of him on Saturday.”

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