ALEX Gilliead cannot be accused of anything other than giving it his all, and he is determined to work on his game at left-back if that is where he is required.

After being converted into a central midfielder a couple of years ago, he has played a handful of games at left wing-back for City over the last few months and did a stellar job at full-back on Saturday against Barrow after both Liam Ridehalgh and Daniel Oyegoke went off injured.

Gilliead was happy to drop in on the left after that unfortunate double blow, but after the game, Graham Alexander admitted he brought on Adam Wilson there late on to offer something of an extra threat down that flank.

County Durham native Gilliead did not see that as criticism from the new boss, but a challenge to overcome instead.

He told the T&A: “I think if I’m going to play at left-back at all going forward, I’ll need a few pointers from the gaffer in that position.

“My left foot isn’t my preferred one, so that’s something I’d need to work on if I was going to play there, because I’d need to be able to run down that side and cross the ball in.

“Central midfield was a new position for me to learn a couple of seasons ago and now potentially there’s this.

“I’m always learning on the job and there’s still parts of my game I can improve on all over the pitch.

“Hopefully this Saturday, I’ll get selected and do a job wherever I’m needed.”

Asked if it was hard training to play in one position all week, then suddenly being asked to move to somewhere completely different mid-game, Gilliead said: “I personally don’t find the switch too difficult.

“I just want to play, and I’ll play anywhere, but my game is quite simple anyway.

“I’m all about working hard, putting myself about and trying to create chances.

“I just want to make sure I’m a solid player within the team.”

On Saturday’s game specifically, he said: “We were unlucky with those injuries, Rides getting concussed then Dan looking like he’s popped his shoulder.

“I thought I might go in at left-back when Dan went off, because I’ve played at left wing-back a few times recently.

“As Graham’s already said, I’ve told him I’ll play anywhere for him.”

It was hard to keep up with Gilliead’s ever-changing role on Saturday, as he morphed from midfielder, to full-back, then into one of City’s biggest scoring threats.

He forced one awkward second-half save out of Barrow keeper Paul Farman, then struck a fierce effort inches over the bar with a few minutes to go.

The 27-year-old said: “I’ve always said I don’t score enough and you can only do so if you shoot.

“That first one wasn’t the best shot on my right foot, but the keeper spilled it and it got the crowd up.

“That allows you to build momentum and keep pressure on teams and as the gaffer says, that kind of thing can only help.

“I want to keep being positive and shoot more, because if that creeps into my game, it helps me and the team.”

It remains to be seen what plans Alexander has for the City squad in the January transfer window, but he has given the current crop a shot in the arm already.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Graham Alexander has made his mark already on the City squad.Graham Alexander has made his mark already on the City squad. (Image: Thomas Gadd.)

Gilliead said: “Graham’s come in and straightaway told us that he thinks we’re a good group of players with good ability.

He wants us to be on the front foot in games, like we were under Kev (McDonald), and to get forward and create opportunities.

“He expects us to get about teams and feels this group can do that.

“He’s shown us in training what he needs us to do, and you certainly need to be fit to play for him.”

Gilliead has played at League One and Two level for most of his career, and has come up against Alexander teams before.

He said: “I remember playing against Graham’s Scunthorpe team and they were hard-working, in your face and always looking to get on the front foot.

“They wanted to create chances and had good individuals to do that.

“It was all about putting pressure on the other team and that’s the way I play anyway.

“Graham wants us to be winning the ball higher up the pitch and be playing at the top end of the pitch a lot more.

“We need to improve in both of those aspects, to commit to leaving the opposition one versus one against us and to bring that pressure on them.”