Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted it was "really difficult" to cover as a makeshift defender in Saturday's 1-5 win over Brighton on Saturday.
The Dutchman was forced to deputise at the back as manager Jurgen Klopp had to contend with a number of absentees. Wijnaldum was positioned alongside Emre Can and Dejan Lovren in an improvised back line, but dealt reasonably well with the hosts' attacks.
The Reds dominated the game and only conceded for a questionable penalty, but Wijnaldum admitted the game was something of a baptism of fire having never played in defence before.
Remember when we played Gini Wijnaldum at centre-half and won 5-1 away from home?— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) December 2, 2017
"It was necessary at Brighton because a few players were injured and sick. If you play a lot of games you have to rotate because players will get tired and then they get injured," he said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"It was difficult, really difficult. You could see in the first half how difficult it was for me to play there. But I felt that in the second half things went better for me.
"I've never played there before. When the manager picked the team and put players in certain positions then I knew I was playing in that position."
Wijnaldum - normally a central or attacking midfielder - was grateful for the efforts of his attacking teammates, whose goals meant that there was far less pressure on him to keep out Brighton.
A brace from Roberto Firmino, as well as goals from Philippe Coutinho and Can were enough to give Liverpool a convincing victory. But with Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan all unavailable, things might have gone differently.
"The manager was running out of options back there," the former Newcastle star said.
"Emre had to play there too but he's quite used to that. You always need defenders but this was a game when we didn't have to defend that much."