Derby County goalkeeper Adam Legzdins praises stand-in centre-back John Brayford
ADAM Legzdins has paid tribute to Derby County's "Mr Consistent" John Brayford.
With Jake Buxton, Mark O'Brien, James O'Connor and Shaun Barker all sidelined with injury, Brayford was once again called upon to fill in at centre-back for Saturday's Championship encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And the 25-year-old helped Nigel Clough's men keep a clean sheet as the sides played out a goalless draw at Pride Park, also earning himself the home team's man-of-the-match award.
Since joining Derby from Crewe Alexandra in the summer of 2010, Brayford has made the right-back slot his own – but has also shown his versatility.
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At various times, he has also played at left-back, right midfield and central midfield.
Goalkeeper Legzdins, who was a team-mate of Brayford's at Crewe, said: "John's fantastic at centre-half.
"He played there while we were both at Crewe and I think he's just as good there as he is at right-back.
"He reads the game so well and gets himself in the right positions, so it doesn't really matter about his height. Nobody will run him or do him in the air.
"He's Mr Consistent and can play in a number of different positions. I wouldn't be surprise if he could do a better job than me in goal!
"It's great to have him in our side."
Brayford added: "I don't mind where I play – I'll go wherever the gaffer tells me.
"Whether it's right-back, left-back, centre-half or central midfield, I'll try to do the job to the best of my ability."
There was an unfamiliar look to Derby's defence against Wolves, with 19-year-old Michael Hoganson making his full debut at left-back in place of the suspended Gareth Roberts and 20-year-old Kieron Freeman covering for Brayford at right-back.
Roberts' three-game ban for his red card in the 2-1 defeat at Hull City last week means he will also miss tonight's home match against Bolton Wanderers and Saturday's trip to Watford.
"Gareth is a big loss for us," said Legzdins. "He's a fantastic player and he's shown how good he is this season.
"But Hogie came in and did a fantastic job. He played some great balls and didn't look out of his comfort zone at all.
"I thought he was really positive and he deserves a lot of the plaudits."
The shut-out against Wolves was Legzdins' sixth clean sheet in 24 appearances this term.
"I think we should have kept more clean sheet than we have done this season," he said.
"On Saturday, we limited the opposition to very few chances, as we have done in the past few games.
"We just need to tighten up a bit here and there.
"We've just got to make sure we switch on a set-pieces and don't give away too many free kicks, corners and long throws.
"We're not the biggest side but I thought we dealt with set-pieces very well against Wolves."
Derby go into tonight's match at Pride Park ninth in the table, with Bolton 16th – five points behind them but with a game in hand.
"They're all tough games and we know we will have to be at our best," said Legzdins.
"With such a young team and the way we play, we've got to compete well and I think we're doing that at the moment.
"We've shown we can score goals and now keep clean sheets. We've just got to do the two together."