Scottish defender Danny Fox will be leading SC East Bengal while Irish midfielder Anthony Pilkington will serve as his deputy in club’s maiden Indian Super League season, head coach Robbie Fowler announced on Thursday.

A centre-back who has plied his trade in the English Premier League for Southampton and Burnley, Fox previously led Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic, a club he played for last season in the English Championship.

“I have known Danny for a quite some time now and I strongly believe he has leadership qualities. In the two weeks that we have trained together, he has already earned the players’ trust and is a popular figure in the team who many look up to,” said Fowler as per a East Bengal’s media release.

“Our team is full of leaders and Danny is a leader among leaders. I believe in him and feel he has the acumen to drive SC East Bengal forward as we build up to the our first game, the big derby. I have had good conversations with him and he has shown the hunger like everybody else, to deliver the goods for the team,” added Fowler, the seventh-highest goal-scorer in the Premier League’s history.

Fox joined Coventry City in the English Championship from Walsall in 2008, playing 57 league games and scoring six goals before being snapped up by Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

After his stints with Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League, he moved to Nottingham Forest in the Championship ahead of a move to Wigan.

“This is a big responsibility and I am ready for it. The Gaffer has shown his trust in me and I will not let him down. The team has gelled really well together and the mood within the group is positive. I believe we have the hunger to do well as a unit. We have had good training sessions and the lads look sharp. We obviously start with the big derby against ATK Mohun Bagan on Friday and I cannot wait to lead the red and golds on our home ground,” Fox said.

Pilkington, meanwhile, joined the red and gold brigade having played in England with more than 400 games under his belt. He has scored 83 goals in his 14 year-long professional career.

“Being the vice-captain of SC East Bengal brings with it a lot of responsibility. I am happy that the Gaffer has shown his trust in me, and I am ready to give my all for the red and golds. This team has a lot of leaders and they are all pushing eachother. We have one goal, and that is to do well in our maiden ISL season,” Pilkington said.

SC East Bengal take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their season opener on Friday at their home ground in Tilak Maidan.

–IANS

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