CHRIS Smith’s “big mouth” persuaded York City manager Gary Mills to make him captain on his return to Bootham Crescent.
The 29-year-old defender was installed as City skipper for Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at Kidderminster Harriers after rejoining the club on loan from Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Mansfield.
Smith, pictured, also donned the armband for Mills when the pair worked together at Tamworth with the Minstermen chief a big fan of his organisational skills.
About Smith’s suitability to the role, Mills said: “Making him my skipper might have raised a few eyebrows because he’s just come into the club but I did it because I know what he’s capable of and he organised the team superbly.
“I felt we needed somebody on the pitch to organise with a big mouth, and both him and David McGurk were outstanding, along with the full-backs and goalkeeper.
“We’ve been crying out for a clean sheet and we want more because you don’t lose matches then.”
Smith has succeeded Michael Ingham as captain, with Mills admitting that he prefers outfield candidates to take on the responsibility.
The City boss added: “I’m not a fan of goalkeeping captains and that’s no disrespect to Michael Ingham. He took the decision on the chin with no problems.
“I believe it also helps if the skipper is a centre-half or midfielder because they are closer to everything on the field and it’s easier for them to get their messages across.”
Mills reverted to his favoured 4-3-3 formation at Aggborough and was pleased with how his players adapted to the tactical switch, saying: “We worked on it all week and it’s a credit to the players that they listened and took it all in.
“We will work on it again in training next week to get better, but Saturday was a benchmark and it’s pleasing to get that in my second game. It’s amazing what difference winning a game of football can have at a football club and everybody is smiling again.”
David McDermott was employed in an anchoring midfield role after being re-signed by Mills and the City boss was pleased with his performance as well, saying: “We didn’t bring him back with that position in mind particularly, but I know he’s a good footballer who keeps hold of the ball and can pass it.
“He does that well. I looked at who I had at the club and thought he was the best man to play there.”
Duane Courtney and Neil Barrett were left out of Mills’ 18-man squad, while Peter Till was absent with a foot injury. But Chris Carruthers was introduced as an 81st-minute substitute having been sidelined since August with a knee injury.
About his return, Mills added: “He got a big roar from the fans when he came on, so he’s obviously been popular in the past and it was good to have him back.”