Paul Simpson has praised Callum Guy for his reaction to losing the captaincy at Carlisle United.

Manager Simpson also said the midfielder believes he could play with more freedom without the armband.

Simpson went with Morgan Feeney as skipper for the opening-day victory over Crawley Town.

The manager chose the defender to lead the Blues over Guy, who has captained the team for the last two years.

READ MORE: Morgan Feeney: I'm proud to be Carlisle United captain - but we can all be leaders

Simpson said: “I spoke to Callum last week before the Morecambe [friendly] game and said I wanted to have a look at Morgan with the armband, because they’d swapped it over pre-season.

“He said, ‘I totally understand’.

“I pulled him this week and explained my reasons why I was going with Morgan.

“He actually said, ‘That’s fine by me – I actually felt a bit freer at the weekend at Morecambe without the armband’.

“He felt as though he had to do something different [as captain] when you don’t.”

News and Star: Morgan FeeneyMorgan Feeney

Both Feeney and Guy turned in strong performances to help the Cumbrians to victory in the first game of the season.

Guy went off injured late in the game but Simpson hopes the midfield man will be fit to continue at Colchester United on Saturday.

United’s boss, meanwhile, stressed that he is not obsessed with the subject of captaincy.

He wants as many players to show leadership as possible.

“I’ve said this before – I don’t hang my hat on the captaincy, I just want leaders out there,” the manager said.

“I think Ben Barclay’s showing leadership qualities, Mox [Owen Moxon] shows leadership qualities, the two strikers do...

“I think we’ve got some really good characters out there and for me, Morgan handles the armband really well.

“He’s stepped up a little bit more and he’s really keen to show leadership qualities. If everybody else helps him it makes that job even easier.”