Griffin accepts reserve role
Stoke captain Andy Griffin has vowed to deal maturely with his recent demotion from the first team.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 24/02/09 5:54pm
Stoke captain Andy Griffin has vowed to deal maturely with his recent demotion from the Potters' first team.
The 29-year-old defender has failed to make the bench for Stoke's last two fixtures and is now in line for a run-out in the reserves on Tuesday evening as his bids to keep up his fitness.
Other players in his position might refuse to play with the back-up squad, but Griffin's experience has taught him that it is wise to keep his head down and focus on working harder to get back in the team.
"At the moment, I find myself down the pecking order for both right-back and left-back," he said.
"Things like that happen in football. No player likes not playing because you train all week for the game at the weekend, then find you're not playing for whatever reason.
"But I'm a lot more mature and life-experienced now and so you learn how to handle such situations. Sometimes you think you should be playing, but I'm not paid to make those decisions. In the past I've handled it incorrectly, especially at Newcastle, but now I'm a lot more experienced.
"A great remedy is knowing you can go home and your family is living just around the corner, or knowing your problems are nothing compared to people losing their jobs."
As club captain, Griffin still has a large part to play in the day-to-day life of the club even when he is not in the weekend squad, and so a positive attitude is essential for the defender.
"If I feel sorry for myself and there's a big dark cloud following me around everywhere then I'm not going to be helping the other players," he added.
"In days gone by, I would have felt sorry for myself, but nowadays you know things can happen quickly in football with suspensions and injuries - and you have to be in the right shape to take your chance."
Meanwhile, Stoke's game at Everton has been restored to the original date of Saturday March 14th at 3pm.
The game had been pushed back 24 hours to the Sunday to avoid a clash with a British National Party rally in Liverpool, however the BNP have now cancelled the meet, enabling Merseyside police to focus their full efforts on security at Goodison Park.