Hull City boss Nigel Adkins sung the praises of midfield star Jackson Irvine following his important double on Thursday morning (AEDT).
Irvine - thriving in an advanced midfield role at Hull - scored twice in the club’s 2-1 Championship win at Preston North End.
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The midfielder, who shapes as a key player for the Caltex Socceroos at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ in the absence of Aaron Mooy, has now scored five goals in 21 Championship appearances this season.
“He’s been an influential player for us,” Adkins told BBC Radio Humberside.
“Obviously he came back late after the World Cup, took a period of time to get back to the level that he needed to be and he has been a big player for us.”
Adkins also hailed Irvine’s flexibility and adaptability to play any role required for his team.
“When we talk about managing the game in the second half - I’ve got him [Irvine] playing off Fraizer Campbell, he scores two,” he said.
“They’ve gone and put then a flying right-back on. Kamil’s [Hull’s Kamil Grosicki] a threat going forward but obviously their fullback going forward - it would have been a bit more challenging for Kamil.
“He [Irvine] does the things that people might not go and see - we put him on the left hand side … he does it for the team because we know, defensively, he will go and do that.”
Irvine and Australia begin their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign with a clash against Jordan on Sunday, January 6 (10:00pm AEDT).