Shrewsbury v Barnsley: Captaincy not an issue for Tykes’ Alfie Mawson

Barnsley's Alfie Mawson.
Barnsley's Alfie Mawson.
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ALFIE MAWSON is happy to get back to his day job of defending and says he has no issue with losing the captain’s armband to Conor Hourihane.

Mawson recently found himself out of the side, with the captain’s duties entrusted to Hourihane, who has retained the role despite the former Brentford man being back in the team.

The Reds centre-half cedes that being relieved of the role might actually prove a minor blessing as he and his back-four colleagues endeavour to improve the club’s defensive statistics.

He said: “It might be a little bit of a subconscious thing in the back of your mind that a little bit of pressure has been relieved.

(But) I still feel that I have to act like the captain and there should be 11 captains out there.

“Maybe you get to concentrate on yourself a little bit more, but I want to be a captain later on in my career regardless.

“I’m behind Conor. I think he’s a great player. I’ve got a lot of respect for him because he doesn’t want to do anything but get better.

“I’m in the same frame of mind. I’m here to get better as a player and if that means taking on a lesser role with the captaincy, then I feel free to do so.

“It’s the gaffer’s (Lee Johnson) decision and I’m 100 per cent behind him with everything he does. He’s got a lot of faith in me and I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”

Mawson is acutely conscious of the work that he and his defensive cohorts need to undertake to get things consistently back on an even keel and says a clean sheet or two would be manna from heaven.

The Reds have not recorded a shut-out in 21 matches in all competitions since the home game with Gillingham on September 26.

He acknowledged: “It’s got to be addressed. I think it’s annoying, to be honest. We thought the Millwall game was a perfect one and we nearly had it bar a bit of misfortune.

“It’s evading us at the moment, but we’ve got to be solid, communicate with each other and I’m sure it will come.

“The gaffer is massive on it and always has been. We know that we need to keep clean sheets.

That’s the bottom line of it because we can’t keep expecting the centre-forwards to score the goals.

“Because we’re a possession-based side and we keep the ball a lot, we might switch off,” added Mawson.

“That’s our responsibility and we’re not hiding away from that. We are working on it.”