Fabian Delph: I’m a leader

Fabian Delph today insisted he will lead from the front this season and admitted he feels the pressure to take control at Villa.

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The 23-year-old is the fourth-longest serving Villa player, behind Gabby Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton and Brad Guzan, after signing from Leeds for £6m in 2009.

He has been handed the captaincy in pre-season this summer and the midfielder admitted he must shoulder the responsibility in a young side.

He said: “I’ve been here quite some time now. I’ve been injured for a long part of it but, regardless of how long I’ve been at the club, I always feel a responsibility to be a little bit more vocal than some of the other players. I’m quite a fiery character. I always like to shout a bit and try and get the boys fired up.”

“Gabby has been here a long time and he is more of a player who will lead by example. He will do some magic in the game and that will inspire the players. I’m a little bit more vocal I’d say that some. “By the end of the game I get fed up of my own voice. I feel sorry for some of the boys playing alongside me.”

Delph, who scored in the 5-0 win over Walsall on Tuesday, has made 69 appearances for the claret and blues after being out for almost a year with serious knee injury in 2010.

He has enjoyed the responsibility boss Paul Lambert has handed him this summer but insisted it will not change him.

“Whether I’ve got the armband or not, I’m still the same. I like to be vocal and I think probably because I’m the third longest serving player the gaffer sees me for that reason and gives me the armband to try to encourage players.

“The team I’ve been playing in has been the team that didn’t really start a lot of games last season, whereas I started quite a few games so I think he was just looking at it like that.

“It makes no difference. I’d like to think you’ve got 11 captains in the team anyway regardless of who has got the armband.

“You get a huddle and you say a few words. But that’s about it, I don’t really prepare any differently. I just try to play the same and be the same.”