Mick McCarthy has confirmed that a change of skipper for the team is in the offing, and that midfielder Jason McAteer is a candidate.
Only a few weeks after saying that he’d never considered taking the role away from Mickey Gray, the gaffer today all but confirmed that there will be a change.
McCarthy told Sunderland AFC.com “Jason’s an experienced player and an influential person and he’s a candidate. Jason has good leadership qualities. Everyone sees Kevin Ball as the archetypal leader and captain, but he ain’t playing now. But not everyone is like Bally. Jason has been doing it and I’ve been very pleased with him, he’s enjoyed it. He’s had the job in pre-season and done very well.”
And McAteer himself seems to be ready to take up the challenge of leading the first team. “I’ve captained the national team for the gaffer and I’ve bags of experience. I’ve enjoyed wearing the captain’s armband for most of pre-season and I hope to carry it on into the season.”
McAteer and the current captain are close friends, but ‘Trigger’ says he doesn’t think that him taking Mickey’s armband away would cause any problems. “In the eyes of the lads he’s still the skipper.
“We’re big enough, old enough and ugly enough to know what the situation is.”