Sunderland skipper Lorik Cana has hailed midfield partner Lee Cattermole for helping him make an immediate impact in the Premier League.
The Albania international arrived from Marseille this summer and has quickly struck up an understanding with tenacious youngster Cattermole, a £6million buy from Wigan.
Cana's leadership qualities were quickly identified by manager Steve Bruce and the 26-year-old was this month handed the captain's armband.
But Cattermole, 21, has helped Cana get to grips with the pace of the Premier League in the midfield engine room.
"Lee has been a big, big help to me in games," he told the Sunderland Echo.
Partnerships"When you arrive at a new club you are always looking to strike up partnerships with your team-mates but you never know how things are going to work out.
"For me, I have been lucky to have found someone to play alongside at Sunderland like Lee.
"We are very similar players in the way we like to play football. We both believe in working very hard, winning the ball as much as we can and giving everything for the team.
"It is a pleasure to play alongside him and there is no doubt that he has helped me settle into the way of play over here.
"He is a very good player and with still being so young, I think he is going to get better."
Cana played over 200 games in the French Ligue 1 with Paris St Germain and Marseille, and has made 36 international appearances for Albania.
He had been captain at Marseille since Habib Beye's departure for Newcastle in 2007 and Bruce is confident he can perform the role for Sunderland too.
Respect"I think the time is right for him - he's at the right age and he commands the respect of his team-mates," said the Black Cats boss.
"It's easy to see why he was captain of Marseille when we bought him."
While Cana is thrilled to be Sunderland skipper, he insists it will take Cattermole and the rest of their team-mates to help make the Wearsiders successful.
"Being the captain of a team is an honour for every player but it is not the most important thing," Cana added.
"And in football matches, for a successful team, it is very important that you have 11 people out there who are willing to lead."