Sunderland name new captain as Lee Johnson explains interesting approach

Corry Evans has been named as Sunderland captain for the upcoming League One season with several other players also taking on new leadership roles.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:41 am
Corry Evans has been named as Sunderland captain. (Photo credit: Martin Swinney)

Aiden McGeady will step up as vice-captain with club captains Bailey Wright and Luke O’Nien joining Lynden Gooch and Tom Flanagan to complete the senior team’s new leadership group.

Black Cats boss Lee Johnson explained: “It wasn’t an easy decision because we have five or six players with real quality in terms of leadership, so this year we have tried to give them different responsibilities and spread the responsibilities.

“The team captain will be Corry Evans, who is obviously an experienced international and very well-respected, and he is very calm – at a club like this, that calmness personified, both in his performances and general day-to-day consistency, becomes very important.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Evans only recently moved to Wearside from Blackburn Rovers, though the 31-year-old has plenty of experience at Football League and international level.

The Northern Ireland international will now lead the Black Cats out for their League One opener with Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

In Evans’ absence, McGeady, who has made 133 appearances in four years at Sunderland, will wear the armband.

Johnson continued: “Vice-captain will be Aiden McGeady, a very different leader and talisman if you like, somebody that really grabs a game by the scruff of the neck.

“He is also hugely respected within the squad, not only because of his career but because of his football intelligence.

“We have gone with two club captains and they are tasked with driving the culture and driving the standards, particularly off the pitch.

“They are Bailey Wright, who is well versed in that role having done it for me at Bristol City, and Luke O’Nien, who we feel has real leadership potential off the pitch and we are looking to hone and develop that on the pitch.

“Lynden Gooch and Tom Flanagan also come into the communications and leadership group and what that is, is those six guys that we – from me to the sporting director – can discuss any key subjects with.”