For the first time in his career he has been handed the captain's armband by Sam Allardyce in the absence of injured Scott Dann and the 30 year old is delighted to see the recent upturn in results creating a more positive atmosphere at the club.
"There has been a change in mentality around the club with the improved results and the new players coming in have helped us massively.
"Our home form has been pivotal in us staying up before and I don’t think that will be any different in the final matches of the season. Looking at the recent results since the manager has come in has showed that we are starting to turn things round and we need that to continue."
"We all know what he has achieved in this league before he joined and hehas bought in a good group of staff with him. He has got us all pulling in the right direction and that has shown with us getting points on the board. We can all look at points targets if we are to stay up but he has said it is important we don’t lose games and even if we don’t win, we can pick up points and they all add up come the end of the day. Everyone is pulling in the right direction to get us out of this situation."
Prior to the home match against Middlesbrough he was told by the manager he would skipper the side and the midfielder will always cherish that special moment in his career.
"It was a proud moment for me to be told I was going to be captain of the club but I try not to let it affect me and just go out and play my normal game. The manager expects us all to reach certain standards and so we all have to do our bit when we are out on the pitch, there is no special treatment for anyone and looking at the squad I think that has really helped us all.
"I play for this football club with great pride and passion but I have always been vocal even before I was captain although the big thing for me is the team winning games and as the leader of the side for me it is important to show that I can play my part in making sure we get the results."