Zak Vyner thinks it would be unwise to pigeonhole himself into one position as he tries to fight his way into the Aberdeen reckoning.
The 22-year-old, who is on loan for the season from English Championship side Bristol City, made his only appearance for the Dons thus far in the 1-0 Premiership loss to St Mirren in Paisley.
In the game, which took place in between the Europa League qualifying defeats to Rijeka, the Peckham native replaced long-time Reds right-back Shay Logan.
The acquisition of Vyner has increased the Dons’ depth on the right of defence, an area dominated by Logan since he arrived at Pittodrie from Brentford in 2014. Something which has at times become an overdependence.
However, even if he’s next called upon to come in at centre-half, versatile Vyner – who has previously had loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Plymouth Argyle and Rotherham United – will be raring to go.
He said: “I get asked this question (his best position) a lot. I don’t mind.
“I’ll play either (right-back or centre-back). I’ve said that every time.
“I’ve come through the academy as a centre-half, but I came into the (Bristol City) team as a right-back.
“I went to Plymouth and had a really successful time there for six months in the second half of the season as a centre-half.
“Whatever the manager asks me to do, I don’t want to pigeonhole myself to one.
“I’ll take whatever one I’m playing and do the best I can.”
Vyner, who has been in Bristol’s academy since the age of nine and made eight league appearances for the Robins, is determined to become a starter for Derek McInnes’ Reds.
He believes this attitude in a squad is what makes a good team, the tooth and nail internal competition readying the players for the external challenges presented by opposing sides.
He said: “That’s the aim for everybody (to start). We’ve got healthy competition here.
“Everyone wants to play, start and be a part of it.
“Football is a competitive sport and it needs to be competitive inside the camp as well as against other teams.
“When you come against other teams you need to be one and be a unit.
“Inside that unit you want healthy competition to drive each other on.”
Vyner thinks it’s his job to spur on the likes of Logan, as well as Scott McKenna, Andy Considine, Ash Taylor and Mikey Devlin, while also trying to take their places.
He added: “If someone’s playing one week, you’ll help them because you need to think about the team as well.
“The days before the next game, you work hard because you want to get in the team.
“That’s normal. I like competition and want to show I can mix it with everyone.”
Vyner will hope to feature when Aberdeen return to Premiership action against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Whatever lies ahead this term for Vyner, he hopes his experience of pressure last term with Rotherham – who were eventually relegated from the Championship – can stand him in good stead.
He played more than 30 times for the New York Stadium outfit, alongside ex-Don Clark Robertson, in a campaign which saw them meet English champions Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium – a 7-0 loss.
Despite the negative end to this campaign, Vyner thinks he learned valuable lessons with the Millers.
He said: “It was a great learning experience for me (with Rotherham), playing in the Championship and I think everybody wrote us off before the season started.
“We turned a few heads during the season.
“I know we got relegated in the end, but we gave it a massive fight and ended up doing well, pretty much against what people expected us to do.
“We ended up being a team nobody wanted to get relegated.”