Sunderland goalkeeper aims to lead by example for Chris Coleman in run-in
Lee Camp knows who needs a rocket and who needs encouragement with Chris Coleman relying on the experienced keeper to be one of his leaders in the relegation dogfight.
The 33-year-old joined Sunderland on deadline day on loan from Cardiff City and has since been thrust in at the deep end.
Camp has endured a difficult start, conceding 11 goals in just five games as Sunderland scrap for survival, including a soft winner at Bolton.
But his experience of successful survival bids at Rotherham and Nottingham Forest could yet prove vital.
Coleman vetted the keeper before signing him to provide competition for Robbin Ruiter, now injured, and Jason Steele - and is relying on his big personality.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a ranter and a raver. I’m getting to know the personalities of the players – who needs an arm around them, who needs a kick up the backside,” revealed Camp.
“You need to know the ones you can flood with information and the ones who don’t want to hear too much. It will just be subtle things.
“A lot of it will be from the back, trying to organise and manage the games correctly, then try to lead by example.
“I’ve always tried to do that. That’s the way I’ve always done it when I’ve captained the side and things like that.
“I feel I’m approachable and if I can help people, I always will.
“He [Coleman] said, ‘I’ve vetted you. I’ve spoken to people and they’ve told me what you’re like.’ It can’t have been a very long conversation!
“He said he needed me to come in and do what I do so he gave me free rein. He described me as a big personality.
“I don’t know if that really fits the mould but I will try and lead by example and do what needs to be done to get the job done. There’s enough here to stay up. I’ve been in squads that have got lot less on paper and stayed up.
“It’s a big club with a good squad and I fully expect us to move forward.”
Camp is relishing working under the former Wales boss.
“Being down in Wales you hear a lot about the international team and people always had a lot of positive things to say.
“It was an opportunity to come and play for a good manager but also a big club. I didn’t think twice about it.”