BOSS Eddie Howe has appointed “natural leader” Danny Hollands to succeed Shaun Cooper as Cherries team captain.

Hollands agreed to take the skipper’s armband after being asked by Howe during the first day of pre-season training on Thursday.

The 23-year-old, who has also captained Chelsea reserves, replaces Cooper who is set to miss the first six months of the season with a hip injury. “I think Danny is a natural leader,” said Howe. “Through all the problems the club has had in the past few months, he has acted as a spokesman for the players.

“He’s taken on the role of PFA rep and I think all the players respect him and he has shown he is captain material.

“He leads by example, both on and off the pitch, and I believe he lives the right lifestyle. He’s a winner and is fiercely determined to be successful.”

Hollands has been appointed by Howe just weeks after the player threatened to leave Dean Court over the non-payment of outstanding wages.

The midfielder, supporters’ player of the year in 2008, served the club 14 days’ notice, which he subsequently withdrew after reaching agreement.

Howe added: “I don’t think it was a negative. He spoke to me before he made his decision. He didn’t do anything behind anybody’s back and was very open and honest.

“From that point of view, I didn’t have a problem with what he was doing. He wasn’t getting paid, along with everybody else, although he was probably in a slightly stronger position than anybody else.”

Howe, a popular captain during his Cherries playing days, also gave his reaction to the loss of playmaker Cooper.

He said: “Losing Shaun is a massive blow to us. He is very versatile and very consistent and has been one of our best performers for the past few seasons.

“I just hope we can get him 100 per cent fit because after his struggles with injuries last season, that is the least he deserves.”