Thu12182014

Last updateWed, 17 Dec 2014 9am

News

Birchall could be middle man

Port Vale manager Martin Foyle says Chris Birchall's World Cup performances could signal a change of position for the youngster next season. Birchall plays right wing for the Valiants, but has played in central midfield for his country since he was called up by their former Real Madrid coach Leo Beenhakker last May.

He looks certain to be in Trinidad's starting line-up when they open their Group B campaign against Sweden in Dortmund on June 10.

Foyle plans to use Birchall on the right next season, but says he will be watching with interest to see if the 21-year-old could give him another midfield option in case of injuries.

Foyle said: "It's something I need to look at. If Leo Beenhakker thinks that way then I have to listen to a Real Madrid and Ajax coach.

"But it is a different set-up for them, and I think for Trinidad Chris is in there doing a lot of Dwight Yorke's running.

"Chris has brought tapes of his games back and the pace is a lot slower, but it won't be in the World Cup.

But all the players here have to be versatile. For example across the back four our defenders can play in different positions. Our front men are prepared to play in any position, and that is what we want."

Birchall, from Stafford, says he enjoys playing in central midfield for his country. However, he agrees with Foyle that his best position is out wide in League One, where the pace of the game is faster.

The youngster will continue his preparations for the World Cup tomorrow when Trinidad are away to Slovenia. They then take on the Czech Republic on Saturday in their last friendly before the finals.