Heitinga happy on defensive duty

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Johnny Heitinga is relishing the opportunity to play at centre half for an extended period for Everton.

The Dutchman played there for his country during their run to the World Cup final in South Africa last year, and is happy to do so for the Toffees as well.

Heitinga has struck up a good partnership with Phil Jagielka, and said: “I am enjoying it. I think the combination between me and Jags is good and I am happy to play in that position.

“I play where the manager wants me to play and for me this is the best position in the team.”

He was originally pushed into the back four because of injury to Sylvain Distin and even though the Frenchman is back fit again, Heitinga has retained his place on the strength of his performances.

The defender was key to keeping Arsenal at bay for 70 minutes on Saturday, and is now targeting home games against Norwich and Swansea as an opportunity to move up the table.

Speaking after the game at The Emirates, the Ajax academy graduate said: “We need to be positive from this game because we have a couple of nice games to play and hopefully we can get the points.

“I don’t think we played bad against Arsenal, we were in the game until they scored and it was a good goal from them.

“We didn’t deserve to lose but we didn’t deserve to win. In the second half we were right in the game and the possession was better.”

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