NEWLY installed Hibs captain Liam Craig last night revealed he had been given a “dos and don’t list” by the club’s disposed skipper James McPake.
Craig was given the armband by Terry Butcher the evening before the Englishman took charge of his first match at the Leith club, which ended in a scoreless draw away to St Mirren that ended a sequence of defeats.
Craig declared himself “chuffed” with the honour, which Butcher said he agreed to accept on Friday, with his only request that the new manager explain his decision to McPake. “Terry Butcher has obviously captained his country and Rangers, so the fact he’s seen those qualities in me in such a short space of time gives me great confidence to go and lead the team out.
“James is the captain and I travel in with him, but to be fair to him he was the first person to pull me aside after the manager had spoken to me. He gave me a few tips about what to do and what not to do. Alan Maybury calmed me down when I got a wee bit excited [in yesterday’s game] but it was great to lead the boys out. I’ll keep what he told me not to do in-house.
“I think we’ve got a good squad but we’ve been saying that for a few weeks now. It’s about time we started getting results and we’ve got a great platform with a clean sheet and the manner in which we played. With a Scottish Cup game at Ross County next week, we want to go on a cup run again and we look forward to training for that.”
The need for a reliable presence at the core of team was the reason given by Butcher for his decision to switch captain, and overlook the claim of acting skipper and goalkeeper Ben Williams.
“James has injury problems. We looked at him this week to play but he had a recurrence of his back injury. I just felt that Liam is going to be out there more times than not and I like my captain in the centre of the action. He’s experienced, well respected by the players and fans, and leads by example. I just felt that was the right thing. I spoke to James, I spoke to Ben Williams and they were brilliant about it, absolutely tremendous, and we move forward.”