Change in AFC Telford skipper ‘no punishment’ for Shane Sutton

Gavin Cowan stressed Shane Sutton is ‘not crying into his pillow’ after losing the AFC Telford United captaincy.

Adam Walker is now the captain.
Adam Walker is now the captain.

Midfielder Adam Walker has taken the armband for the Bucks’ last two games and will lead the troops out against basement boys Chorley at home tonight.

Boss Cowan insisted the decision was ‘no punishment’ for Sutton and not seen as a big call by Bucks players, with the Welsh defensive stalwart involved in the amicable decision, which Cowan hopes can help Sutton focus on his game.

Cowan, who helped former boss Rob Smith bring Sutton to the club in 2017, said: “It wasn’t just my thinking really, it was a collective decision. We said it as a small group, myself, Shane, Adam. Shane’s a big player for us and people forget we didn’t have him for large parts of last season through injury, which was very difficult for him.

“He comes back in with the expectation on him to replicate what he did in my first year as manager, which is difficult for players. It gives Shane a little more freedom to concentrate on what he’s doing. Whereas when you’re captain, as I was fortunate to be at clubs, there is a level of expectation and weight on your shoulders, you have to be a serious character to deal with it in successful teams.

“I’m not saying Shane can’t do that because he’s done it really well for us.”

Sutton, 31, is set to miss tonight’s National League North clash with a broken toe as Telford’s injuries mount.

Cowan added: “Psychologically it helps Shane be a defender, work on his defensive unit as opposed to getting stuck into lads at the other end of the pitch or being the person everybody looks to.

“He’s got to concentrate on what he’s doing, he was a part of the conversation and he was quite comfortable with it.

“There’s no punishment there, punishment is taking someone out the team – I’d have taken him out the team if he wasn’t doing the job for us. Adam Walker is that captain-esque role, he revels it and yearns for it.

“Yourselves (press) and supporters revel in the drama of football.

“I think you think too much of it, there’s no drama, hissy-fits or fallings out. Shane’s not crying into his pillow, he’s very much involved in the process.

“You may want to make it more than what it is but it was a very easy conversation.”

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