Petrov eyes Villa captaincy

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Stiliyan Petrov has admitted he would be "honoured" if offered the Aston Villa captaincy by manager Martin O'Neill.

The Bulgaria international is a strong candidate to replace retired skipper Martin Laursen and stand-in captain Gareth Barry who has made the £12 million switch to Manchester City.

Petrov said: "The captaincy of Aston Villa is a great honour. It's a great club and one with a long tradition and fantastic history. It's great to be a captain and to lead the team out. People say that the captaincy doesn't make a difference, but it certainly does."

Petrov also believes his renaissance with Bulgaria in recent months has had a positive influence on his form with Villa.

His international career looked over after he had a fall-out with previous Bulgarian coach Hristo Stoichkov but it has blossomed again under Stanimir Stoilov.

He said: "I went through a very hard time in the national team. There were a few hard months, I retired. That definitely affected my form and my concentration and I'm happy everything is going well now.

"I play a deeper role now. We have a new manager, we play a different system. It has definitely had a positive effect on my club form.

"I'm playing in the best and hardest league in the world and fighting to achieve something to be proud of, with and against the best players. You can't ask for anything more."

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Manchester City
Stiliyan Petrov
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Aston Villa

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