KEVIN McBride has revealed he was effectively handed the Hibernian captaincy by Liam Miller last weekend after manager John Hughes told the two midfielders to decide between themselves who should have the armband.
The pair were given the decision shortly before the home game against Inverness Caley Thistle was announced, once Hughes had decided to drop club captain Chris Hogg.
"I was actually told ten minutes before the team talk," said McBride, who is expected to remain in charge for today's match, also at Easter Road, against Hamilton Accies. "He pulled the two of us in and said it was one of us two. That was the first I heard about it.
"He said to both of us 'One of you will be captain', and Liam suggested to give me it, so I became captain that day. Liam just said he felt that I should have the captaincy, so the gaffer said 'There you go, be the captain'."
Although at 29 McBride is one of the most experienced members of the Hibs squad, the 1-1 draw was his first experience of the captaincy at first-team level with any club. He was in no way overawed by the responsibility, but insisted that Hogg remained captain, and suggested that every member of the squad should be willing to play a leading role in any case.
"Chris Hogg is the captain of the club, and in his absence I filled in. It was a privilege to be captain.
"I don't think to be a captain you need an armband - everybody out there should be captains. The important thing was going out there and getting a win. Obviously we didn't get the win, but hopefully we can kick on this weekend and get the three points."
Hibs were a goal up and in charge of the game before a penalty miss by Derek Riordan and a sitter sent over the bar by Edwin de Graaf gave Caley Thistle fresh hopes. Eventually Adam Rooney equalised from the spot, and McBride and colleagues were booed off the park, having extended their run of home games without a win to seven.
The acting captain said he understood the supporters' frustrations, but insisted the team were not far away from everything falling into place.
"If we took the chances we created we could have easily gone on and scored three or four goals. It would be a worry if we weren't creating chances, but the thing is we are creating chances. It's just down to the players to take them.
"The fans have expectations, but so do the players and the manager. It's up to us to go and get the three points.
"It's always a hard game against Hamilton. We struggled at their stadium last season. At our stadium we beat them 5-1, but they had just come off the back of two games against Rangers. It will be very difficult, and we've got to stand up to the challenge."
Striker Valdas Trakys is in with a chance of making his Hibs debut from the start of the match. Hughes would prefer to allow the Lithuanian more time to get up to speed, but feels his hand has been forced by the injury which has ruled out Darry Duffy.