Gilbey has earned the captain’s armband since returning to MK Dons

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Graham Alexander explained the decision to hand Alex Gilbey the captain’s armband at MK Dons

Returning midfielder Alex Gilbey character and day-to-day professionalism earned the captain’s armband at MK Dons in the absence of Dean Lewington, said the man who gave him the task.

Gilbey was Graham Alexander’s first signing after taking over at the helm in June, bringing back the two-time Player of the Year following a three-year spell at Charlton Athletic.

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With Lewington sidelined for nearly four months last season, Warren O’Hora was initially given the captain’s duties before he too was injured. But this season, with Lewington once again on the treatment table, Gilbey has emerged from the tunnel first in the opening three games of Alexander’s regime.

Alex Gilbey leading the side out against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup at Stadium MK. Pic: Jane RussellAlex Gilbey leading the side out against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup at Stadium MK. Pic: Jane Russell
Alex Gilbey leading the side out against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup at Stadium MK. Pic: Jane Russell | Jane Russell

Explaining his decision to give Gilbey the armband this season, Alexander said: “Gilbs is a great character, great personality and an excellent footballer. He takes on tactical instruction really well.

“He has the armband for a reason. He leads by example. There is not one day where he hasn't maxxed his output. When we've criticised him in pre-season, he's taken it on the chin and wants to improve.

“He gees up the rest of the players. He loves winning in training, he's celebrating, punching the air and I love that - that spirit, that will to win that you need to have. We need to instill that in all of the players here.

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“You need a competitive streak, and a want to win. And you have to remind yourself every day that as a professional footballer, you have got to keep competing, and Alex Gilbey epitomises that.

“He'll be the first to tell you he's not the only one in that group that is pushing and egging each other on.”

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