Aina 'enjoying' centre-back role at Fulham as unbeaten run continues

Ola Aina, Bobby Decordova-Reid, Fulham vs West Brom, Premier League 2020-21
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A recent switch in formation has made the Nigeria right-back fall to a deeper role in Scott Parker's team

Ola Aina is comfortable and enjoying the new centre-back role he is playing at Fulham as they remain unbeaten in their last four Premier League games.

The 24-year-old, who primarily plays as a right wing-back, has been moved to the centre of the Cottagers’ defence where he partners Anglo-Nigerian centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo and Joachim Andersen in Scott Parker's new formation.

With 12 league games under his belt so far this campaign, Aina – who returned to London on a season-long loan from Torino in September – said he is ready to continue helping Parker’s team wherever he is positioned.

“Normally I would be playing a bit wider, a bit further up the pitch, but I’ve always said that I’ll put a shift in wherever I’m placed,” Aina told the club website. “I’m in a back three at the minute and I’m really enjoying it. 

"I feel really comfortable there.”

Despite their fine defensive run, Fulham still find themselves in the relegation zone with 11 points after 15 games, however, the Nigeria star thinks they are improving in every department.

“We all know how it was at the beginning of the season, so from that point to now, it just shows the hard work that we’re putting in, as well as the togetherness that we have,” he added. "I don’t think it’s only the backline you know, it goes throughout the team, it starts from the top.

“If it didn’t start at the top, then the opposition would get more chances on our goal, so the whole team has done well to get us these clean sheets.”

After avoiding defeat in their last four league matches, Aina also expressed his belief that Saturday’s goalless draw with Southampton is a decent result for them ahead of their next league outing against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

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They will be targeting their first win in exactly a month, when they defeated Leicester City 2-1.

Aina concluded: “There were a couple of VAR decisions that went in our favour, but it was just one of those afternoons with a lot of buts and ifs, like you said, but it’s good to get the clean sheet and build on from that.

“It’s big for us to be getting clean sheets, it shows we’re working well.”

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