Derrick Williams admits he might ‘have to do a job at left back’ on international duty – but believes a switch to centre back for Rovers has brought about the best form of his career.

Williams was drafted in to Mick McCarthy’s squad, having initially been on standby, following the withdrawals of fellow Rovers defenders Darragh Lenihan and Greg Cunningham.

Cunningham’s arrival at Ewood Park has allowed Williams to move in to his more preferred central defensive role where he has played 10 consecutive Championship games.

But a serious knee injury sustained by the Cardiff loanee in the defeat at QPR has opened up a spot at left back at both international, and club level, with Sheffield United’s Enda Stevens suspended for tomorrow’s game in Georgia.

While Matt Doherty, of Wolves, looks favourite to slot in at left back, Williams told the Irish press: "Mick said to me that he knows I prefer to play as the left sided centre half but that I might have to do a job at left back. 

“He hasn't really said anything and I don't know if I’m allowed to say if he has.

“I said that I’m more than happy to. I just want to play and to try and show him what I’m capable of doing.”

The 26-year-old has one cap to his name, that coming in a friendly against France in May 2018, but a series of niggling injuries saw him struggle for both form and fitness last season.

While the France friendly is a moment Williams says he won’t forget, he was focused on making a more regular breakthrough at international level this season.

In to his fourth year at Rovers, he was in the provisional squad for the September qualifiers, only to miss out on the final cut, but feels his form warranted another chance.

That is something Rovers boss Tony Mowbray agreed with, believing Williams was unfortunate not to make the original squad this time around, only to get his chance because of injury.

He has impressed alongside Lenihan, like Cunningham ruled out of the Ireland squad because of injury, and that news is likely to keep Williams at centre half for Rovers, with Amari'i Bell coming in at left back.

“One of my goals this season was to get a solid place in this squad. I don't want to be on standby like I was so here's my chance,” Williams added.

“The night in Paris was one of the best in my career and I’ll never forget the moment my name was called out and then stepping out there. 

“It was not the best of games but I felt that we did alright because they were the World Cup champions a few weeks later.

“If you weren’t a bit nervous then there would be something wrong with you. I did not feel out of place. I'd didn't feel as if I was getting rinsed.

"But last year was a tough year for me as I kept getting injured. I'd play three games and then get injured for three games and it was an ongoing situation.

“I'd also play left-back for a couple of games and then play centre-half for a game which does not help.

“But I always knew that if I got fully fit and kept my head down then hopefully I would get back in.

“I’m probably playing the best football I’ve played. I was a bit gutted not to make the first squad but I'm here now and I just want to impress.”

Williams has racked up 127 appearances for Rovers, named player of the year in his debut season in 2016/17, following his move from Bristol City.

He dropped in to League One with the Robins when leaving Aston Villa, the club he came through the ranks at, in 2013, and he feels that decision although a hard one to make, has worked out well over time.

“I’d been offered a new contract but there were a lot of players two or three years ahead of me who I felt were going to block my way forward,” said Williams.

“Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark, Enda Stevens was there, Joe Bennett, a lot of players and I wanted to drop down, one step back to make two steps forward.

“I wanted to make a name for myself and that was the right decision because I’ve played over 250 games now and I don't think I'd have done that if I'd stayed at Villa.

“It was a difficult decision at the time but I backed myself. There comes a stage where you can stay and sit comfortably, be in squads and travel.

“Or, you can back yourself and say 'let's have a go'. You have to back your own ability at some point.

“If I'd stayed at Villa I don't think I'd have played as many games, or got as much experience.”