Crystal Palace star Jeffrey Schlupp has revealed the importance of mental strength to his preparations for different roles in Roy Hodgson’s set-up this season.
Largely a left-winger or left midfielder, the Ghana international has also been deployed on the right-wing in recent games, having also previously had spells at left-back and centre-midfield in past seasons.
He has made 14 appearances for Palace in the Premier League so far this campaign, starting 11 of the matches and scoring one goal.
“If you’re playing in defence against a tricky winger and then playing further up the pitch, upfront against centre-halves, it’s almost roles reversed. Mentally you’ve got to get it right,” Schlupp said, as reported by his club’s official website.
“Normally leading up to the games, I’ll have a chat with the gaffer if he’s about to put me in somewhere else, so I’ve got enough time to get my head around it and prepare well for whatever position I’m playing.
“You’ve got to look at the positive in everything regarding football otherwise it could get really tough,” he added. “You’ve always got to take the positive out of anything.
“In football there are so many highs and lows. The lows you take in your stride, but being positive is the main thing.”
Schlupp’s only goal this season came as a crucial equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last month.
“I don’t know about the most versatile [player I’ve managed] but he’s up there [among the best], of course,” manager Hodgson said about the Ghanaian last month. “We’ve never really seen him as an out and out defender.
“I know he had a couple of spells before I came as a full-back and even once or twice during my time as a full-back, but we’ve never thought of him long term as a defender. We regard him as an attacking player which means he plays across the midfield, which he’s more than capable of doing.
“I’m just pleased for him after spells of injury… he seems to be in a good place. He’s not injured, he’s certainly in good form and all the skill of Jeffrey Schupp is still there.”
Schlupp, 28, joined Palace in 2017 after helping Leicester City win the Premier League in 2016.