King hesitant about midfield role

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The Independent Online

Ledley King has cast doubts over whether he could switch to a midfield role in England's final World Cup warm-up game against Japan because of the extra demands it would place on his knee.

The Tottenham defender marked his first international for three years by grabbing the opening goal in England's 3-1 win over Mexico at Wembley on Monday evening.

There has been speculation he could be employed by Fabio Capello in a holding position in front of the back four in Graz.

But King is unsure whether his knee - he is unable to train between matches - would stand up to the rigours of such a switch.

He said: "Do I fancy a holding midfield role on Sunday? I don't know, I am not sure about that. A lot has changed since I last played there.

"With not training, midfield is a different role, it is different on the body. I've got kind of used to playing at the back and adapting to certain movements.

"Midfield would be a totally different role so we will have to wait and see, one I'm willing to try if it was the case and I was asked by the manager."

It is a miracle in itself that King is even part of Capello's squad given his well documented knee setbacks but he is determined to try to fulfil his dream by being part of the squad heading to South Africa.

He said: "I always believed I could play at this level - but then you start to have your doubts, with the way the knee was going, that you will do so.

"It is probably a bit of a surprise how the season turned around but playing in a World Cup is everyone's dream.

"It is the biggest tournament in the world, the calibre of players you play against are from the top, top level.

"Every kid dreams about lifting the World Cup and playing in one. It is something I've watched since I was a young boy so it would be a dream to play in it for me."

By his own admission, King did not produce the best of performances against Mexico despite his early goal and he is conscious of the extra demands of dealing with international football.

He said: "I didn't think international football is as quick as the Premier League although I'll have to change my mind after the first half against Mexico. It was pretty quick.

"But it is definitely more about concentration. I've always felt that. I've learnt that again, that you have to be focused and keep your concentration for 90 minutes.

"You are up against top players whose movement is excellent so, if not at the top level of your game, you will get punished."

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