Chris Baird has revealed his delight at being named Northern Ireland captain.
Manager Nigel Worthington has named Baird as skipper for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Liechtenstein as Aaron Hughes is sidelined through injury.
Baird admits he was shocked at the decision.
"I thought it would go to Maik Taylor or David Healy, one of the more experienced and older players," he told Downtown Radio.
"But the manager took me to one side and told me he wanted to make me captain for this game.
"I was delighted to hear that and accepted his offer."
Nothing for granted
Northern Ireland are expected to seal a comfortable win over Liechtenstein, but Baird is refusing to under-estimate the minnows.
"We have to give them respect as it could be a hard game.
"Lawrie left us in a good position and hopefully Nigel can carry that on for the rest of the qualifiers.
"I would be a great achievement to get to the European Championship finals for the first time in our history."