Steve Cotterill on Harlee Dean's leadership

Harlee Dean
Harlee Dean against Leeds United.

Even when he hasn’t worn the captain’s armband he has shown good leadership.

Steve Cotterill

The Blues Manager made Harlee Dean captain for the visit of Leeds United.

By bringing back Marc Roberts after injury into the defence it meant Michael Morrison missed out and was among the substitutes.

So a new skipper had to he chosen - and Dean got the nod from the Manager.

“Harlee Dean brings good leadership anyway," said Cotterill. "Even when he hasn’t worn the captain’s armband he has shown good leadership.

“He is an excellent professional. A very good footballer. I like that in my centre-backs, if you can get it.

“A good defender. For me, in the last five games, he has probably been our most outstanding performer. Our most consistent performer.

“We sat down after the Wolves games and went through a few things with him. And for me, he’s been absolutely spot on.

“In the Wolves game, he’s a good footballer and he tries to drive the game sometimes as a centre-back. But you can’t drive it all the time.

“It’s only once we have killed the nine off can we get Harlee driving through into those spaces.

“I felt he was trying to do too much, and it certainly happened against Wolves.

“But he’s a top lad, great in the dressing room. Very much a giver, not a taker, not selfish.

“So it was an easy decision who I was going to give that (captain's armband) to. No big massive science behind that."

When the situation arose previously, David Davis got the honour.

“I had given it to David Davis (at Barnsley) when I thought he was in good form.

"I needed to give him a breather a couple of games ago.

“And I didn’t want to heap the pressure on by giving it to him (when he was back in the side to face Leeds United).

"So I pulled him before the game and explained that situation, why I wasn’t doing it again. It wasn’t a snub towards him, but I needed him to know there were still plenty of thoughts for him, plenty of love from me to him. I just didn’t want to put any more pressure on him.”