Former Norwich boss confirms he wants Bulgarian midfielder to retain the club captaincy as he continues his recovery from leukemiaNew Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has confirmed Stiliyan Petrov will remain as club captain as he looks to recover from leukemia.
The Bulgarian was diagnosed with the disease in March but Lambert was categoric in his assertion that his former Celtic team-mate will regain the armband on his return to first team action.
“Stiliyan is still club captain," Lambert declared. "He is a huge influence on this football club. I was with him for a few hours, he was doing great and I'm looking forward to going back down to see him.
"I played with him when he was only 19 and he first came over to Scotland. At the time I was told, we were on our way to Fulham. I was just devastated. I couldn't believe it."
The former Norwich manager was also staunch in his belief that Petrov would make a full recovery from the illness.
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"He's such a strong lad and a terrific guy," he added. "Hopefully he'll be ok. Your health is more important than anything. I'm sure he'll beat it."
Lambert concluded by reaffirming the necessity to hold onto Villa’s top players as he looks to rebuild the squad after last season’s disappointing campaign.
"This club has international footballers I'd like to keep here," the 42-year-old continued.
"I think we have to prove we can keep them to give us a foothold. I will do everything I can to make this club as strong as it can be."