When Eddie Newton recently spoke about the key figures in the West Bromwich Albion dressing room he picked out Steven Reid as one of the most important players.
Reid might have barely figured for Albion this season – he’s skippered the Carling Cup side but has been peripheral in League games – yet his vast experience is clearly valued by staff and players.
And this weekend Reid will be thrown into the fray following the dismissals of Pablo Ibanez and Gonzalo Jara in Monday’s game at Blackpool.
Pablo’s red card might yet be rescinded, but Jara’s three game ban could open the door for Reid to come in at right-back.
The ex-Republic of Ireland international, far from being impatient, has been ready to bide his time, knowing that his chance would come.
“I am not in the team regularly at the moment but I’m not one to sulk and kick up a fuss,” said Reid. “I’ve got a role at the club as a senior player and I will back the team.
“I couldn’t be happier with the results the team are getting and I’ve just got to be right mentally and physically for the bits and pieces that I am getting.
“It’s been frustrating but at the same time the team have been playing brilliantly, and I am just as pleased as anyone with how the team have been doing.
“I have played central midfield for most of this season in the bits and pieces I have got, so that is probably my preferred position.
“I had a run-out at centre-half at Leicester and a few minutes on Monday so there will be a few decisions for the manager to make.
“We might have a couple of suspensions at the weekend and there is the issue with Jonas Olsson possibly being out for a little while as well.
“But we will leave that with the manager and hopefully I might get a few games under my belt now.”
Reid is confident Albion’s defeat at Bloomfield Road will prove to be a minor blip.
“Obviously we’re disappointed after Monday, but to go to places like the Emirates and Old Trafford and get results has been great,” he continued.
“It’s been an outstanding start and if we can continue the way we’re playing at the moment I’d like to think we’ll be fine this season.
“The aim is still to get to 40 points as quickly as possible and then we’ll see where we are.
“We’re confident we can get a result on Sunday.”