Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marc Wilson looks to retain capataincy for new season

Ireland defender Marc Wilson revelled in his new-found responsibility at Portsmouth and insisted: I want the captaincy for keeps.

The County Antrim born Irishman was the surprise choice to lead Steve Cotterill's strongest side out for the pre-season friendly against Fulham last Saturday.

Despite being only 22, he was given the nod ahead of the likes of more senior players Michael Brown, Richard Hughes, Hayden Mullins, Tommy Smith and David Nugent.

For Wilson, it's recognition of the growing maturity from a player who in 12 months has established himself as a first-team regular.

The home-grown talent, who also skippered Pompey in Edmonton, has been one of four captains used during seven pre-season matches.

Wilson has also been called into Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland squad for the friendly international against Argentina next week.

But Wilson is determined to cling on to that armband for Saturday's Championship opener at Coventry.

He said: 'The manager has been really good. He's just happy for me to go and play my game.

'He hasn't actually given me a reason why he's made me captain a couple of times during the pre-season.

'But I'm happy to accept the responsibility.

'I think it's a good chance for me and I think it will help me as well.

'It will help me mature as a player. It's giving me that responsibility of telling the other players what to do, talking to them, trying to gee them up.

'It's definitely a good opportunity for me and a bit of recognition, if you like.

'The captaincy means a lot to me because I love the club – I've been here seven years.

'I love doing it to be honest. I've been with this club since I was little and it's a privilege, it really is.

'I do a lot of talking and have been getting a sore throat shouting too many times! But it's all good and I'd love to keep it for the Coventry game.

'I just hope the players listen to what I am saying.'

Wilson grabbed the match-winner against Fulham during unquestionably Pompey's best performance of the pre-season.

Buoyed by the return of the likes of Kanu, John Utaka and Prince Boateng – plus Ibrahima Sonko's debut – it was a timely shot in the arm ahead of the trip to Coventry.

And Wilson is looking for Pompey to carry that form into the season ahead.

He added: 'I think that Fulham performance was probably the best of the pre-season, especially as it was against Premier League opposition.

'Fulham are a good team, they did really well last year and had a strong team out.

'We always knew it was going to be a difficult game – so to get the result was even better.

'To be honest, the trip to America took it out of the lads a little bit with all the travelling.

'Even when we came back we were jet-lagged for a long time, especially for the Bournemouth game when the lads were still struggling with it.

'I think we are now all getting back and that showed against Fulham.

'I'm looking forward to the start of the season now.

'There are some tough games ahead and we have to be ready for them.'

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