Sunderland’s George Dobson has paid tribute to his central midfield partner Max Power for the leadership abilities he has shown in the recent absence of club captain Grant Leadbitter.
With Leadbitter currently away from the club on compassionate leave, manager Phil Parkinson has recently handed Power the armband, as the Black Cats have enjoyed a run of just one defeat in their last 15 league games.
That run has seen Sunderland lift themselves to fourth in the League One table, just three points adrift of the automatic promotion places, and Dobson clearly seems to feel Power has played a big part in that.
Speaking to The Chronicle about the influence Power has had on the side in recent weeks, Dobson said: “You can tell he’s a leader.
“The gaffer’s obviously given him that responsibility [of being captain] since the last 10-11 games or whatever it’s been, and yeah, he’s a leader on the pitch and off the pitch and he’s been a massive help to everyone.
“I really enjoy playing with him and long may it continue.”
Indeed, Power has certainly made a direct impact as well in recent weeks, none more so than with his stoppage-time equaliser to earn Sunderland a 1-1 draw at home to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.
Reflecting on that contribution from his side’s stand-in skipper, Dobson certainly appears to have been impressed, as he claimed: “It was brilliant. I was on the bench at the time, but whether you’re on the bench or out there, it’s a great feeling for everyone.
“Obviously, the relief of scoring so late on. I was buzzing for Max. It just sets us in good stead to keep the momentum going, which I just feel like it’s going to be a massive thing.”
Next up for Dobson, Power and co. is a huge game in the promotion race on Sunday afternoon, as they make the trip to St Andrew’s to take on second-placed Coventry City.
There can be no denying that Power has made quite a contribution to Sunderland’s side in recent weeks.
Given the ability, experience and reputation of Leadbitter, taking over the role of captain from the midfielder was always going to be a challenging one, given the expectations there were to be met.
Power however, looks to have done that pretty much perfectly, certainly if you go off the comments made by his teammate here, considering they are the ones closest to a club captain on a daily basis.
There can be no doubting the importance of promotion to Sunderland this year, so you feel it can only enhance Power’s own standing at the club and beyond, if he is the one to lead them back to the Championship over the next few weeks and months.