By Chris Harris

Theo Walcott is ready to try his luck as a central striker after opening his account for the season on Tuesday night.

The England international popped up in the six-yard box after just four minutes to guide home Aaron Ramsey's cross for the only goal of the Champions League Play-Off first leg against Udinese.

Walcott scored 13 times in just 25 starts from his right-sided position last term but regularly gets into central positions where he can use his pace to get behind opposition defences. He believes he can do that job on a regular basis when required.

"I just like to put it out there," said Walcott. "The boss has always promised me in time I will get a chance to play up front. It's been six years so hopefully if I keep scoring I can get a chance up front with Robin van Persie maybe.

"That’s only out in the open - I am not demanding anything. I am just giving the boss something to think about!"

Walcott could have had a couple more on Tuesday night, scuffing one opportunity before drawing a wonderful save from Samir Handanovic in the closing minutes. But Udinese had plenty of chances of their own and Walcott was highly-satisfied with the result.

"I think 1-0 is very positive," he said. "The clean sheet was very important. A lot of young lads came on tonight and did very well.

"Udinese are a very good team - they are technically very strong, quick and at times I think they taught us a bit of a lesson. They are very strong in midfield but it is a good result.

"We have players to come back as well and they are going to be under more pressure at their place because they have to come at us more. It is going to be tough but we are looking forward to the battle.

"We didn’t want to commit too many bodies forward on Tuesday night because we know how dangerous they are counter-attacking teams. So we were very tight as a defence and that is a positive - two clean sheets in two games is great."

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17 Aug 2011