Fozzy so proud to be skipper

DAVID CUFFLEY Mark Fotheringham was the proudest man in Norwich today after grabbing the chance to lead his side to a priceless victory.The 24-year-old Scottish midfielder was a surprise choice as City skipper for last night's 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle at Carrow Road, a result that lifted them off the bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship.

DAVID CUFFLEY

Mark Fotheringham was the proudest man in Norwich today after grabbing the chance to lead his side to a priceless victory.

The 24-year-old Scottish midfielder was a surprise choice as City skipper for last night's 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle at Carrow Road, a result that lifted them off the bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship.

Manager Glenn Roeder said he had chosen to rest captain Jason Shackell - who will be recalled for Saturday's visit of Sheffield United - but had yet to decide who would wear the armband against the Blades.


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“We had to have a change tonight because I just rested Shackell and I'll think about that over the next few days,” said Roeder.

“The important thing is you get the best out of your players and I'll have to decide before we play on Saturday whether to give the captaincy back to him. He's a young man still, in his first season as captain. It can be a massive weight on a young player's shoulders.

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“He's barely played 100 games. He's not played an awful lot of football considering his age and he's never let the club down as a captain. He certainly hasn't let me down since I've been here, but I'll sleep on that for a few nights.”

Fotheringham, playing only his fourth match since a three-month lay-off with an ankle injury, said he was not expecting to lead the side.

He said: “It was great to get the win and it was quite unexpected when the manager just came in today and said that with Shack not playing, I was going to lead the team out.

“It was a great honour. I was a proud young man out there tonight, to be honest. I can't really put it into words how good the feeling is.

“I wasn't expecting it. I've had a few chats with the gaffer and I know what's expected of me. He's told me that I've got to be a leader out there and he just came in today and said 'Listen, you're going to captain the team. I'm expecting big things from you as a leader on the pitch this year'. I'm just happy to be back, first and foremost from the injury, and to get that today was a real big moment for me.”

Fotheringham's immediate recall for the Coventry home game 11 days ago - after just an hour playing in the reserves - was a clear sign of how highly Roeder rates the former Celtic man.

“It was great to get back in,” said Fotheringham “It was just really frustrating in the sense that I've been sitting up in the Sky box most weeks watching the lads.

“We were not playing as well as we could have been and I felt sorry for the old gaffer, because he brought me in, and I know Jim Duffy well. But I'm so excited to be playing under Glenn Roeder, such a big name in the game. He's worked with some quality players like Lampard and Carrick and Joe Cole and these guys I look up to, especially being midfielders.”

Roeder said Fotheringham was the obvious choice as captain after he decided to give Shackell a break.

“Since he's come back from injury, anyone who's seen us play has seen a player who's got incredible drive and determination,” said Roeder. “He's like that every day around the training ground. In his own mind, as a human being, he only sees winning. Mark has definitely got the attitude that I like.

“When I said about the Australians, first is first and second is nowhere. Second doesn't come into Mark's way of thinking. So when I looked across the back four and across the midfield, he was the obvious person to lead the team tonight while Shackell was rested.”

Fotheringham said mental strength was a big factor in City's win.

He said: “There's no doubt in our minds that Plymouth are a good side. They beat us 3-0 down there, so to get three points was massive for us.

“I thought we started really well but we let them back into the game and, to be perfectly honest, we didn't play particularly well, but at this moment in time we've got to keep grinding and we're showing the right mentality.

“A win's a win. We need wins. Three points is really important but we know Glenn Roeder is not going to accept below-par performances, so we're going to have to work on a few things going into the Sheffield game.”

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