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A huge boost

24 February 2017

Michael O'Connor says retaining the captaincy under Kevin Nolan was a huge boost for his confidence.

The midfielder was handed the armband by former manager John Sheridan in pre-season and has continued to wear it following the arrival of former West Ham man Nolan.

O'Connor said: "On his first day he spoke to me and said 'I want you to be my captain'. It was a big help for him to have that belief in me and since then I have kicked on.

"I'm probably on my best run of form since I signed. I know what the manager wants from me. I'm feeling good, I'm feeling fit and hopefully it can continue."

Captaincy is not something the Northern Irishman is accustomed to, this season being his first as as the skipper, and he has received plenty of words of advice from his manager about handling the role.

"Obviously the gaffer was captain wherever he went in his career - Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham - and it is my first season as a captain so he has spoken to be about what he wants from me and I think I'm taking it on board.

"You have team-mates looking at you to lead and I try to do that in every game I play."

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