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Steven Whittaker on being dropped


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Jan 3 2010 Euan Mcleanrf, Sunday Mail

STEVEN WHITTAKER insists he's ready to banish his confidence crisis by standing tall in today's Old Firm nerve-shredder.

And the former Hibs full-back admitted Walter Smith did him a favour by dropping him.

The 25-year-old copped terrible flak during Gers' dodgy spell in October and November when they were humbled in the Champions League and lost in the league to Aberdeen.

Whittaker holds his hands up to his poor form during that period but reckons he has benefited from some time out after being benched for three games.

A gentle re-introduction to the team, coming on as a second-half sub in the 4-1 win over Hibs and 7-1 trouncing of Dundee United last Wednesday night, has been just what Whittaker needs.

And now he's hoping that will be enough to convince Smith to return him to the starting line-up as he ponders a defensive reshuffle.

Madjid Bougherra is on international duty and Sasa Papac is hit by sickness.

Whittaker said: "I've not been playing as much as I would have liked in the last few games but my form hadn't been great.

"That's why I have spent time on the sidelines.

"It's my own fault but it's about bouncing back and gradually getting my foot in the door again.

"The manager speaks to the players whether we are playing or not.

"He spoke to me and said my form will come back. I now feel in myself it is returning.

"Maybe getting the goal against United can help my confidence and hopefully I can kick on from here.

"It's about being consistent and performing week in, week out.

"I hope it helps to come back into a team that is playing so well.

"We are on a fantastic run and scoring some great goals."

I can only see him being in the midfield for now.

http://www.<No links to this website>/football/spl/...86908-21938630/

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He is an honest player and never went into hiding during that dodgy period, but I do have my doubts about him being a fullback in the long term. God loves a trier, but the fact is he is just not good enough for our first 11.

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