Laursen named as Villa leader

22 August 2008 10:42
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Danish defender Martin Laursen will continue as the club's new captain this season. The 31-year-old centre-half has been handed the armband due to uncertainty over Gareth Barry's future at the club and O'Neill is happy to leave things that way for the time being. He said: "Martin is the captain here. I didn't say it officially to him, but he is the captain of the side at the moment and I wouldn't see that changing. "He leads by example, I'm not saying he is running around shouting all over the place, then but neither did Gareth. "He had this long-term knee problem and it could have led to him giving up football, but he showed his strength of character to battle back. "He came back into the side for the final stretch of the season before last, when we had a long unbeaten finish and since then has not looked back. He has been excellent for us."

Source: ESA