As Brede Hangeland edges towards the conclusion of what has been a long and extremely successful career, he has told reporters that he won’t be worrying too much about securing a regular place in Neil Warnock’s starting line-up, with his only concern being the overall success of the team.
At 33, the Norwegian has 91 international caps to his name, alongside a further 430 club appearances, which, after a long spell with Fulham, should bode well in terms of experience for the months that lie ahead. Far from being a prima doña, the defender seems to be at peace with his place in the squad.
I am always happy to play but, at this stage of my career, I am past my personal ambitions and just want the team to win games.
“I am coming towards the end of my career, and I am not going to bang the manager’s door down if I am not playing. I am always ready to play but my goal is for the team to win.
“I am happy to support the lads who are playing. We are a hard-working squad and the ones who are not playing can’t go and moan. That is important if we want to do well.”
With Scott Dann injured and Damien Delaney suspended for today’s game against West Brom, Hangeland will in fact be guaranteed a starting role, but it is good to know that, when the aforementioned pair both come back into contention for a place in the side, they would be putting Brede’s nose out of joint by leaping in front of him in the pecking order once more.
He’ll know better than anyone that his game now has certain limitations, leading to an acceptance that a regular starting spot is now out of reach, but with an attitude as professional as that, the manager and his coaching staff will be elated to have him at their disposal.
In the modern game, you seldom find players who are so honest about their own role within a squad, it’s refreshing to say the least.