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FOLLOW MY LEADER

Posted on 13 April 2006  - 12:00

Anthony Gardner admits the leadership qualities of Ledley King were not instantly evident when the both of them were striving to make the first team breakthrough.

Anthony Gardner admits the leadership qualities of Ledley King were not instantly evident when the both of them were striving to make the first team breakthrough.

Even though the now skipper made his debut in May 1999, the central defensive duo were reserve team regulars together and both began making regular senior appearances from 2001 onwards.

Ledley has certainly grown in stature since being appointed captain following the departure of Jamie Redknapp in January of last year - something Anthony was not entirely anticipating from his close friend.

"It is difficult to say, when we started he was playing in midfield and was young," reflected the former Port Vale player. "Leds is not the most outspoken person, but he has a presence on the pitch.

"He is a captain who does not need to scream and shout, but it is his natural game and being there that gives confidence to the team.

"You know what you are to get from Leds, he gives you confidence whether you are alongside him, behind or in front.

"He is the stalwart of the team."

Meanwhile, Anthony said he felt quite a bit better about himself following the win over Manchester City last weekend. A stark contrast to the blitz we suffered in the early stages against Newcastle.

"Yes, we got a result, which was needed and my personal performance felt a lot better. I was more confident and in a groove that you need to be when you are playing in big games.

"I am looking forward to the next game now. The fixtures are coming up thick and fast and there is no better way to sharpen up than to play games. It is an important time of the season and it is good to be back in there."