GRETAR Steinsson doesn’t want to make a habit of watching from the sidelines but admits last weekend’s game at the Reebok was a little bit different.

The Icelander, suspended for Manchester United’s visit, was able to watch his five-year-old son Johann act as the matchday mascot.

He returns to contention for today’s visit of Aston Villa and reckons the change of view was a pleasant experience.

“It was fantastic for him,” said the full-back. “Unfortunately I got the red card, so I couldn’t go with him.

“But I had another role, with the camera. I played dad on a Saturday for a change, and really I enjoyed it.”

After a slow start to the season, in which he found himself ousted from his regular right-back spot by Sam Ricketts, Steinsson is now concentrating on ending the campaign on a high.

The 28-year-old reckons the arrival of Owen Coyle in January gave fresh impetus to the squad, and from that moment on, he was not contemplating relegation.

“Sometimes you just need a little bit of a change,” he said. “We have the same players but there are just a few specifics that have changed.

“There is more positivity around and the players have picked up on that, and are playing more freely.

“Competition is competition — it has been fantastic for both me and Sam, as it has in other positions too. I’m glad I’m back in the team. I worked hard to get there.

“I’m enjoying my football and now I hope we can get some results. We’ll definitely stay up, it’s just unfortunate we have had to come back so far. We should have been safe some time ago.”