Stiliyan Petrov to stay Aston Villa club captain, says Paul Lambert

Aston Villa club captain Stiliyan Petrov

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says Stiliyan Petrov will remain club captain although he is looking to appoint a new team skipper.

Midfielder Petrov has been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March.

"Stiliyan is still club skipper, no doubt," Lambert, appointed new Villa manager last week, told the club's official website.external-link

"He's a huge influence on the club. I just need to look for a team captain."

Lambert, who played with Petrov at Celtic, has visited his former team-mate since the Bulgaria international, 32, was diagnosed after he developed a fever.

"He's such a strong lad and a terrific guy," added Lambert.

"It makes you sick, actually, when you have played with someone, seen them in their prime and are close to them, then you know he has an illness like that.

"Hopefully he'll be OK and be here."

Former boss Alex McLeish made Gabriel Agbonlahor Villa's new captain in Petrov's absence.

Villa sacked McLeish in May after finishing 16th in the Premier League table, two points above the relegation zone.