Greg is PNE stand-in skipper

Greg Cunningham during PNE's clash with Newcastle
Greg Cunningham during PNE's clash with Newcastle

Greg Cunningham has been named as Preston North End captain in the absence of the injured Tom Clarke.

The Irishman wore the armband for Saturday's 1-1 draw against Newcastle and will continue in the role until Clarke returns to fitness from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

North End manager Alex Neil said: "The experienced lads are going to be important and there are always players that the others look towards and I think Greg is one of those characters in the changing room.

"While Tom is injured I think it's important that we've got a team captain and I thought Greg fitted the bill perfectly.

"It's important that your captain is somebody who you would expect to play most of the games for you, hopefully if Greg continues to play as well as he has done then that should remain the case."

Cunningham, 26, has been such a consistent performer since joining PNE on a free transfer from Bristol City two years ago, winning the club's player of the year award is his first season at Deepdale.

He is proud to be appointed captain but will have no hesitation in handing the armband back to Clarke when the centre-back is fully recovered.

“I’m looking forward to having that armband until Clarkey comes back," said Cunningham.

Clarkey’s been phenomenal since I’ve come to the club and he’s been a big loss to us.

"He’s working hard and we’re dying to get him back as soon as possible.

"However long I have the armband is however long it is; but I’m hoping Clarkey can get back as soon as possible to help us throughout the season."