Alan Tate ready and willing to step into the breach
ALAN Tate is ready to stake his claim for a regular centre-back spot when Swansea City resume after the international break.
The Swansea stalwart is likely to be handed his first Premier League start of the season against Aston Villa on September 15.
Tate should line up alongside Ashley Williams as Chico Flores begins a three-match ban.
Flores was sent off for raising his foot when challenging Sunderland's Louis Saha last weekend, and Swansea have opted not to appeal against the dismissal.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And Tate intends to make the most of an opening in the back four.
"I said I'd always want to be here and fight for my place and hopefully the manager will see that," said the 30-year-old.
"If the manager chooses me to fill in and if I play well I expect to stay there, it's as simple as that."
Tate played the final 17 minutes of Saturday's draw with Sunderland, replacing Wayne Routledge as Flores's red card forced Swansea into a reshuffle.
It was the first time Tate, who hails from the Durham village of Murton, had featured against the side he supported as a youngster.
Swansea twice came from behind last weekend and were grateful to claim a point following Flores's dismissal.
"We were looking to win the game, we got the first goal of the second half which was the main thing we said at half-time," Tate added.
"I think when the red card came it was time for us take our medicine — we tried to get the win but we were happy to get the point."
Tate arrived at Swansea on loan from Manchester United ten years ago before completing a permanent move in 2004.
He signed on a free transfer, but things have changed at Swansea.
The club broke their transfer record for the second time in a week when they signed Pablo Hernandez for £5.55 million last Friday.
That took Swansea's summer spending to more than £16 million, but Tate insists price tags mean nothing within the dressing room.
"We've come a long way and we're trying to go forward further so perhaps the next transfer will be £10 million," said Swansea's vice-captain. "There's no difference once they're in. You're not worth anything, you're just one of the lads and part of a squad who are all in it together."
Swansea will rally around Neil Taylor this week as the left-back comes to terms with the serious ankle injury that looks to have ended his season.
Taylor remains in hospital after dislocating his ankle and suffering multiple fractures following a challenge on Craig Gardner.
Tate broke his leg in a golf buggy accident at the start of last season.
"I'll go and see him but not yet because I know what he's going through and he'll not want to see anyone for the first few days," said Tate.
"He'll be very down mentally and emotionally as he tries to get his head around it, so I'll let him try to chill out with his family and let them be the ones who are there for him.
"But then we'll all take turns going to see him and giving him our support.
"It doesn't matter how well you're playing, whether you've played for Team GB or you're in the youth team, there's never a good time to do it.
"It's a horrible thing to happen and all our thoughts are with him."