Sport Football Lucas Neill wants captaincy talk to stop

Lucas Neill wants captaincy talk to stop

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Lucas Neill says the speculation has dragged on too long.

But he insists he’s not hurt, or disrespected, by conjecture he’s about to be stripped of the Socceroos’ captaincy.

“It’s not hurtful,” Neill told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

“I think it has gone on a little bit too long.

“But it’s a big topic in our sport and I guess the one thing we can say is that football has made more headlines in the last couple of months than perhaps a couple of years ago.”

Neill is uncertain when new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will decide the captaincy ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly against Costa Rica in Sydney.

But he reiterated he will fight to keep the leadership, and hadn’t taken offence at teammates Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano saying they want the captaincy.

“Any player who gets asked if they want to be the captain of Australia should answer ‘it’s a dream come true, it’s an honour’,” Neill said.

“But it’s not a game. The captaincy is not something you can just hand around. It’s not something that we should just try and vote for. You have got to earn it and somebody has got to give it to you.”

Neill, who has led Australia 60 times, said the debate about his future wasn’t disrespectful.

“I can only continue to carry myself the way I always have,” he said.

“I’m very proud to be Australian. Whether I’m captain or not a captain, I’m still a Socceroo – always have been, always will be.

“I have achieved things in my career that I’m always going to be proud of. Whether people respect that or not, I cannot control other people.

“You cannot like and please all the people all the time.”

The 35-year-old said his primary focus was keeping his spot in the team.

“Obviously we all want to go to the World Cup and the manager will decide on his leader when he feels he has picked his team, and from that time I’m sure he will pick his leader,” he said.

“Every manager is different and he has his own style.

“And with that, it also brings a fresh change which gives everybody that attitude that ‘I have a chance to impress the new guy’ so the intensity he been very good in training.

“Everybody feels like they’re on trial and trying to impress, which is great, it raises the standard of performance.

“I have never taken my position for granted and I’m sure none of the boys in the team will tell you anything different.

“My dream, like everybody elses, is to be in that last 23 that goes to (next year’s World Cup in) Brazil.”