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Jack Ross reveals why George Honeyman ticks all the boxes to become Sunderland captain

New Sunderland captain George Honeyman.
New Sunderland captain George Honeyman.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross believes George Honeyman ticked all the boxes to become the club's new captain.

The 23-year-old was announced as the Black Cats' skipper yesterday, and Ross is confident he has the attributes to succeed.

"When I came into the club I was open-minded to the squad in general, to their abilities, to their attributes, to their characters,"said Ross.

"I tried not to be prejudiced in any way when I came in. So, rather than speak to people and gauge their opinion on players, I did as much homework as I could do myself and then I wanted to see how I found them.

"What I found in George is a player who reflects very much how I go about training on a daily basis. The intensity in which he trains, his attitude and application in training every single day is brilliant, and that’s a testament to how he’s been brought through the club by Kevin Ball in the academy."

Honeyman only became a first-team regular last season, following a brief spell in the National League with Gateshead.

His rise from the youth academy to the senior side has conceded with fellow midfielder Lynden Gooch, and Ross was full of praise for the pair.

"Lynden is a bit similar, they’re similar ages and they’ve got a terrific work ethic about them.

"When you add to that that he (Honeyman) is a good player, he’s an important part of our side this year, he’s a very mature and intelligent young man, and it means an awful lot to him to captain the club, so there’s so many boxes he ticks in that respect.

"I’m actually lucky that I think I’ve found the captain that ticks all of those - normally you might have to give a little on some of them and they might have strengths in other areas."

Ross also believes Honeyman can grow into the role and there are others in the squad who can take responsibility.

"He’ll grow with the responsibility, and I’m also lucky that I’ve got a squad that’s got a number of players that have fulfilled that role - so Lee (Cattermole) has obviously done it at this club and is close to George, then you’ve got Glenn (Loovens) and Jack (Baldwin) who’ve done the role at previous clubs, Alim (Ozturk) has done it at Hearts as a young player, Jon McLaughlin is experienced, Dylan (Mcgeouch) had a lot of responsibility at Hibs, so there’s loads that’ll be supportive.

"I look forward to seeing how he grows with it, and I look forward to him hopefully being a successful Sunderland captain, because I know that’s certainly his aim."