Nigel Reo-Coker has vowed to lead by example when Aston Villa travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

The 26-year-old midfielder has earned rave reviews for a number of spirited performances in recent weeks, marshalling the Villa midfield to help steer the club away from the threat of relegation.

Reo-Coker's robust nature, twinned with his leadership and motivational presence has been an important factor in the club's revival, having lost only one of their last six league outings.

In the absence of club captain Stiliyan Petrov, Reo-Coker has been deployed as stand-in skipper by coach Gary McAllister.


"It's a tremendous honour to have been captain of Villa," he said.

And despite the recent return of the Bulgarian international, Reo-Coker is determined to continue leading, and turning in all-action displays.

"I'd like to be captain again, but I don't need the decoration of an armband to show I'm a leader.

"I know that's what I am, regardless of whether I'm wearing the captain's armband, and I will continue to use my leadership qualities for the benefit of the team.

"I've always said I'm a team player and I stand by that. I'm not the match-winner or the star of the show, I'm just happy to play my part.

"We're all fighting for the same cause."

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