Boca's Pride

Monday 3 September 2007

In the absence of Club Captain Brian McBride, fellow American Carlos Bocanegra was handed the armband by Manager Lawrie Sanchez last week. Bocanegra’s leadership qualities became apparent over the summer as he guided the US national team to success in the Gold Cup and the American was clearly honoured to lead his side out against Spurs.

“It’s an honour to be captain - it was my first Premier League game as captain and it was a special feeling to lead the guys out at home. Brian is our Club captain and I’m just filling in for him. Brian has earned it and because of his unfortunate injury anyone who is captain is just filling in for him."

A final flurry of transfer activity last Friday completed the Club's summer recruitment drive. Fifteen new players arrived at Craven Cottage over the summer with eleven departing from the squad Lawrie Sanchez inherited towards the end of last season. One player who has particularly impressed early on is Paul Konchesky and Bocanegra is pleased with the understanding the pair have developed on the field. 

“In football and people come and go. It’s difficult when you’ve made friends and you don’t get to be with them anymore but the guys that have come in are good guys and you make new friendships. I think it’s difficult when new players come in but me and Paul have developed a really good understanding on the left hand side of defence.

“We’ve had some injuries as well this season but now the transfer window is shut and everybody is here there is healthy competition and the battle for spots will be tough at the Club.”

One crucial area of improvement this season is the Club's away form and Bocanegra is confident that Sanchez' new look side can pick up their first away win against Wigan a week on Saturday.

“I think we can build on Saturday’s game, we all fought together to earn the draw and the team spirit was good in the locker room after the game. We had a bunch of guys in the team that stepped up on Saturday and it was really good for us to get the draw.

It’s the international break now and people will be playing games and we’ve got to come back quickly and get ready for our next game against Wigan. Our form in general away from home has not been the best in recent times but this is a whole new team and obviously we want to improve and get something up there at Wigan."