West Brom defender McAuley: Northern Ireland prepared me for Premier League

West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley says his experience with Northern Ireland has helped him in the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley says his experience with Northern Ireland has helped him in the Premier League.

He claims that experience helped him develop long before he earned a move to the Premier League with Albion in the summer of 2011 – not least when he was frequently drafted in to play as a full-back.

“It’s definitely helped,” said McAuley to the Birmingham Mail. “In international football I’d played out of position at right-back a lot of the time and came up against a lot of people who I was able to handle. I came up against Ronaldo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, when he played on the wing, he was good.

“All the countries have someone on the wing who is a dribbler and creator.

“I came up against a few daunting ones in my time.

“That gives you great confidence. It would have been a great experience (to play tonight) but you can’t have everything all the time.”

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