Barry Bannan has been given the captain’s armband at Hillsborough … in a challenge from Garry Monk to take his overall performances to the next level.
Monk, who said he had talked the decision through with Bannan and former skipper Tom Lees, explained: “I just feel Barry needs that challenge, he’s at a stage here where I want to challenge him and that’s the reason for him having the captain’s armband.
“We all know how good a player Barry is but I think for him to go that next step and push him to another level, which we are going to need this season and beyond, the captain’s armband is a way of challenging that.
“Tom is fantastic with it and understands it’s best for Barry and the team in that sense and for that reason.
“Tom is a leader anyway, whether he has an armband or not, he is a true leader and with the standards he sets every day.
“It was more a decision on wanting to challenge Barry in a way where it can help his game and take it to another level.”