MARK Little has put Wanderers’ upturn in form down to Phil Parkinson’s back to basics approach in defence.

Having started the season playing three centre-halves flanked by wing-backs, it was only when the Whites boss moved to a flat back four that results picked up.

Little was recruited specifically with the right wing-back role in mind when he joined from Bristol City in the summer. But the defender, who lit up Saturday’s 3-1 win over Barnsley with a fine goal, is more than happy with how things have turned out.

“At the start of the season we were playing wing-backs and it’s a position I’m familiar with but it’s a formation which takes a long time for everyone to feel comfortable with it,” he explained.

“Now we’re back to basics and a back four it’s working right. It has proved to be the right decision.

“If we go back, maybe we’ll learn and look better, but I think we do look more solid with a back four.”

Although his tactical brief is now more defensive, Little’s attacking tendencies are hard to ignore. His partnership with Sammy Ameobi on the right has improved steadily of late, bringing out a different side of the former Newcastle United winger.

“The manager encourages us to play to our strengths and pushing on, getting crosses into the box has always been a strength of mine, it’s what I try and do,” Little said.

“I think me and Sammy complement each other. He’ll help me defend and I’ll help him attack. It was my turn [against Barnsley] to score a goal and make one this week but next time it’ll be Sammy, and he’s already scored a few.”

Nottingham Forest are next up for the Whites, Paul Warburton’s side fresh from a 4-2 defeat at Ipswich Town which leaves them 13th.

Little feels the aim for Wanderers, having lifted themselves out of the bottom three at the weekend for the first time since August, is to erode the gap between themselves and mid-table clubs like Forest.

“We will pick up results if we keep playing like this,” he said. “And then maybe we can drag them a little closer to us?

“We’ve set a standard now and a level of performance. That’s where we need to be at. That will keep us in the league. I think we’ve lost one in our last nine now. That’s what will get out of trouble.”