'Lucky' Moussa Sissoko honoured to captain Newcastle

Moussa Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko

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Moussa Sissoko has spoken of his "pride" at captaining Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez handed the midfielder the captain's armband last month when he left stand-in skipper Jonjo Shelvey out of his starting XI.

Newcastle, unbeaten in their last four games, climbed out of the Premier League's relegation zone last weekend.

And Sissoko will lead the team out against Aston Villa on Saturday knowing a win could see the club have its destiny back in its own hands.

"I'm lucky that since I've been captain we've won some games and drawn some games, so that's good for me, for the team, for everyone," said Sissoko, who made his United debut at Villa Park in January 2013.

"When you have the armband, you have more responsibility in the team, so I know that I'm an important player for the team and I need to give everything.

"Even at the beginning (of the season) when it was hard, I tried to help my team-mates. Now we are in a good moment, so we need to keep going until the end. We have two games left, and it won't be easy, but if we do it I'm sure we will stay up."

On the honour of captaining Newcastle, the 26-year-old added: "You can ask everyone – if a player has the armband he will be happy, because that means a lot for the player.

"It also means that the manager believes in you, and that give you a lot of confidence, which is good.

"I'm very proud to be captain of this team at the moment, but the most important thing is for us to win games and stay in the Premier League. We've had a difficult season, but at the end if we stay up, it will be a massive thing for Newcastle.

"We will fight until the end, and I am sure we will do it."