The new role which midfielder believes will be the making of him at Portsmouth

The lofty status of wearing the captain’s armband at Pompey.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 14th December 2019, 2:52 pm

For a man who’s not been established in such a role at a football club before, it’s a privileged position for Tom Naylor.

And one he believes will be the making of him at Fratton Park.

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And the 28-year-old’s ambition after being afforded the role is clear.

‘I love it,' said Naylor of being made skipper. ‘It’s a responsibility I like on my shoulders.

‘I want to try to guide this team to the Championship.

‘I’ve always wanted to be a captain and to do that at Portsmouth is an honour.

Tom Naylor

‘I was captain for Burton once or twice, but this is being established as a captain a football club.

‘I’m really thriving off it and enjoying it.’

Naylor feels he can bring a bit of everything to the Pompey captaincy, and that is how he’s approaching the position.

The former Derby man doesn’t beliebe it’s necessary to maintain a distance from his team-mates when undertaking duties.

Tom Naylor

But, at the same time, when something needs to be said he’s fully aware eyes are on him to step up.

Naylor added: ‘I’m a bit of everything really.

‘There’s a few times where I’ve had to step in and do things.

‘But we’ve come out of that period and it’s nice to be winning games and on a more positive run.

‘I like to sometimes keep my distance, I sometimes like to be with the lads and the banter side of things and I like to be professional as well.

‘If someone wants to speak to me, I’m there for them.

‘I always like to chat to the young lads and to the boys who haven’t been playing.

‘It’s nice people can look up to me and have a chat.’

When Kenny Jackett saw fit to make the captaincy change, he also moved the deputy role from Gareth Evans to left-back Lee Brown.

Some felt that was harsh on Brown’s predecessor, but the arrival from Bristol Rovers last year is one of the standout characters within the current squad.

And Naylor reckons their characters work well together in the captaincy positions.

‘Browner’s Browner,’ Naylor laughed. ‘He loves it.

‘He’s a great guy and we always have chats.

‘If we want to get the lads together for a day out, socialise or they want to do something we have chats.

‘We rub off on each other quite well.’

Naylor now finds himself in his fourth month as Pompey skipper and views his early tenure reasonably well.

The midfielder feels it’s been a natural progression for him from the on-the-pitch qualities he’s always tended to show.

Naylor said: ‘I’ve always been a leader. I’ve always been a leader even without the armband.

‘I’m more of a leader on the pitch than off it really, which is good.

‘I’ve always been a voice on the pitch and the gaffer has seen that from day one.

‘I’m grateful the gaffer’s given me a chance to do it.’