Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson reveals his pick as captain

Phil Parkinson has named Max Power as his new Sunderland team captain.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 3:34 pm

Grant Leadbitter is to remain as club captain, while summer signing Bailey Wright is the club’s new vice-captain.

Power has been an almost constant starter since Parkinson took charge last year, and wore the armband during Leadbitter’s recent break from the game for personal reasons.

Leadbitter returned to the group for pre-season, thanking fans for their support during ‘some of the most difficult days and months of his life’.

Max Power is Sunderland's new team captain

The 34-year-old is back in contention for selection and Parkinson says his return has been a ‘massive bonus’.

The Black Cats boss says the experienced midfielder will have a key role in helping the younger players pushing for first-team selection and will be an ‘invaluable asset’ going forward.

“Grant has returned to the group for pre-season and has been a massive plus for us,” Parkinson said.

"He has come back to the club in excellent condition and trained well, and he has also really helped the younger players within the group. He has the club at heart and is desperate to have an impact on the pitch, which I’m sure he will, and he will be an invaluable asset for us throughout the season.”

Parkinson added that Power and Wright ‘epitomised’ the leadership qualities his looking for and will be charged with establishing a ‘culture to drive the club forward’ alongside Leadbitter.

“We are fortunate to have a squad of players with an abundance of leadership qualities, and Max and Bailey epitomise that,” Parkinson said.

"They both lead by example and like Grant, they will be key to establishing a culture within the dressing room that will drive the club forward throughout the season.”

Power has made 83 appearances in all competition for the Black Cats since his arrival from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2018.

He has scored seven goals in that time.

Wright made just five appearances before suffering a serious injury after joining on loan from Bristol City in January, but made a major impression and is the key figure at the heart of Parkinson’s defence.