King happy to play unfamiliar holding role for Wales

Date published: Friday 10th June 2016 1:30

Andy King: Challenges Zlatan Ibrahimovic in friendly defeat

Andy King: Challenges Zlatan Ibrahimovic in friendly defeat

Andy King is confident of filling an unfamiliar role in Wales’ Euro 2016 opener against Slovakia if asked to do so.

Joe Ledley has made a remarkable recovery from the fractured leg he suffered playing for Crystal Palace five weeks ago.

But Wales manager Chris Coleman confirmed this week that 90 minutes is probably beyond Ledley at this stage, possibly leading to King or David Edwards stepping in alongside Joe Allen in a midfield holding role.

King is ready to occupy that position in Bordeaux on Saturday, even though he admits it is a different role to the one in which he has made his name at Leicester.

The 27-year-old has scored 60 goals in his Leicester career and, although he was not a first-team regular last season, he still managed a few important scoring contributions during the Foxes’ title-winning campaign.

“It’s obviously a different position and the shape is different (to Leicester),” said King.

“But it is one I have played many times for Wales.

“It’s one I am used to and which I enjoy, but obviously it is slightly different.”

King is one of nine players in the Wales squad born in England. He was born in Barnstaple and grew up in Maidenhead.

He qualified for Wales through his late grandfather Robin, who came from Wrexham, and joined the set-up at an early age.

“Brian Flynn (Wales youth chief) probably found most of us who have come through,” said King, who will hope to feature against England in Lens on Thursday.

“We have known the boys since we were 16 or 17 and it’s not been a problem.

“You see it across many countries where the players were maybe not born directly there, but the players go on to represent that country.

“We are one proud nation and we all want to win for Wales.

“I am sure all the boys know that, whether they were born in the country or qualified through a different matter.”

King feels Leicester’s stunning title success – the 5,000-1 outsiders became Premier League champions – has changed everyone’s perception of what is possible in football.

“It’s the whole outside expectation, not just within the dressing-room,” said King.

“It probably gives everyone the thought that anything could happen, especially in a tournament where you have six or seven games to go on and win it.

“If you look at it like that, Wales have probably got a better chance of Wales winning the Euros than Leicester had at the start of the season of winning the league.

“So why can’t we go on and do something different?”

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