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Oct, 11, 2012

Larsson delight at midfield berth

Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson says that he is enjoying playing in a more central role for Martin O'Neill this season.

• Blog: Sunderland flag saga

Larsson, 27, joined the club in 2011 as a right winger, but has been moved to central midfield to accommodate the arrival of Adam Johnson from Manchester City.

"When it comes to playing in a central position or out wide, I don't mind at all," Larsson told the Sunderland Echo. "It's different when you start playing in midfield and then you get moved back into defence - I don't like that. But anywhere in midfield, I don't mind. I've enjoyed playing in that central position.

"The main thing when you move inside, which I'm not used to, is your positioning. It's a bit more vital. When you're on the wing, it's not as important to hold your position all the time. When you're in the middle, you have to protect your back four, hold the team together. It's the one thing I've tried to focus on when I've been there this season.

"On the other hand, it's a good, strong position - you get the ball a bit more often and get to play a bit more, which I really enjoy."

Larsson can earn his 48th international cap for Sweden in Friday's game against the Faroe Islands but he already has one eye on his 50th cap, which he hopes to win against England later this year. He said: "I have 47 caps at the moment, so if I play in those two, we'll have England at home in November and that will be my 50th cap.

"They're opening a new national stadium in Stockholm as well, so that'll be good - it would be really nice. You want to get as many caps as you can and 50 is a landmark. It's apt if it is against England, where I've spent my career.

"England always has been a big rival for Sweden. Everyone knows we lost at the Euros and we'll want to put that right. Everyone back home follows English football - it's by far the biggest league that our supporters follow. So whenever England play against Sweden it's one of those big games for us."

"It's great to have that game to open a new stadium with and it would be great to win my 50th cap in it."

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