McAuley inherits armband
Town defender takes over from Baird, with Hughes still sidelined
Last Updated: March 28, 2011 5:28pm
Gareth McAuley has been named Northern Ireland captain for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia on Tuesday.
The Ipswich defender becomes his country's second skipper in the space of five days, mirroring the captaincy storm surrounding England.
John Terry, who led the Three Lions out against Wales on Saturday, will be replaced by Gareth Barry for a midweek friendly against Ghana at Wembley.
Fabio Capello's decision to pass the honour around has not gone down well, with some believing that the Italian is undermining the value of the role.
Northern Ireland have trodden a similar path this week, with coach Nigel Worthington switching his on-field leader.
He can, however, justify those decisions and is not expecting to be caught in the same kind of media furore currently engulfing Capello.
With national skipper Aaron Hughes sidelined through injury, he handed Chris Baird the captaincy against Serbia on Friday in recognition of his 50th appearance.
He will, however, throw the armband to McAuley on Tuesday as he believes he is the best man for the job.
"I don't think there will be a big media hype over it, I hope not anyway, we're not at that level," joked Worthington.
"We've got a fantastic captain when he's fit in Aaron Hughes. He's our captain. Bairdy had it on Friday because of his 50th cap and I've decided to give it to Gareth now.
"But I'm a big believer in having 11 captains out there.
"You don't need an armband to do your job, there are some people who are more vocal and can organise better than others and Gareth is one of them, but each individual has to take responsibility of helping and encouraging."