Greg Leigh admits he was unsure what he was doing right up until the start of his midfield debut for Aberdeen.
But the instructions of Derek McInnes and the way the game transpired at Motherwell has given the natural defender the blueprint for Sunday’s visit of Celtic – if he is handed the same role.
The left-back was given a central midfield slot alongside fellow defender Zak Vyner and the pair not only helped snuff out Motherwell’s threat, but made major contributions going forward in a 3-0 victory.
Leigh set up the opener and came close to scoring himself, and Vyner drilled home the third from long range.
“Setting up with myself and Zak in midfield, the idea was to shut them down and stop their midfielders playing,” Leigh said.
“The game plan for us, off the ball, was to get close to them and stop them playing forward.
“We came into the team to do that, we did it, I like to think we did it well and everyone else performed fantastically. It was a good real team performance on Saturday.
“Whoever is playing in midfield on Sunday, whether it is me or Zak, they have to go in and do the same thing again and get tight and push and make sure to press them the same way we did on Saturday. Obviously it will be different but we have to make sure we do the same again.”
The pair spent Friday night in the team hotel doing some research by watching clips of midfielders and could be asked to do the same job again with Lewis Ferguson still suspended, although Craig Bryson is closing in on a return from an ankle injury.
“Me and Zak were just being foolish watching some midfield videos,” Leigh said. “We were just trying to get it into our head before the game.
“When you’re on the pitch it is different, especially being further forward and in and around the midfield area. We were just trying to get our heads round it.
“It’s interesting because somewhere like midfield is not somewhere I would have thought I would have played.
“I am going into the game on Saturday thinking: ‘I have never done this before’.”
The victory at Fir Park was Aberdeen’s first in four matches and took them a point off third in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Leigh said: “We needed to put a performance in as well as getting the result and to do that in the fashion we did has definitely lifted everybody, especially going into this weekend.
“It is something we have waited for to have a performance like that. Where we have not only won the game but dominated like we did.
“It has definitely lifted the team to go into Celtic, with a view of saying we have done this against Motherwell and we need to emulate the performance and do the same thing again.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.