Mickey Demetriou says he was honoured when Michael Flynn chose him as the club’s new vice-captain - but received the armband sooner than he would have liked.
The long-serving defender was named vice-captain for the 2021/22 campaign last week, with Matty Dolan taking up the role as captain for the first time in his career.
Demetriou was handed the armband for the first time in the opening day win over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, but it came after Dolan was forced off through injury in the first half.
And while Demetriou, who is now into his sixth season at the club, helped guide County to maximum points in Greater Manchester, he says it was a bittersweet moment when he was handed the armband by Dolan.
"I think the most important thing was three points and the clean sheet was a bonus," said Demetriou.
"I think it was the first time we've won an opening game since 2013, so it's obviously nice to get that off our backs and hopefully we can try and build on it in our next performance.
"I would’ve rather not have the armband because it would have meant that Matty wouldn’t have gone off injured, but hopefully he won’t be out very long so I’ll just be keeping it warm for him.
"The gaffer pulled us both for a chat the other week and said that we're making you vice-captain and captain and it's an honour. Like Matty said, we worked hard for the last four-and-a-half years at this football club and hopefully we can carry on doing that in more of a leadership role.”
Nearly 400 County supporters made the trip to Greater Manchester for their first away game in more than 500 days, but Kevin Ellison ensured it was worth the long wait as his late winner sparked dramatic scenes in the Boundary Park away end.
And Demetriou says he was pleased to have their backing for the first time since March 2020 - and hopes the Exiles can give them something to shout about again when they make another long trip to Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.
"It was great to see the fans. You saw the pictures that went around on social media of when Kev scored the winner, but if we had done that at the other end in front of the Oldham fans it wouldn’t have been the same.
"To celebrate with them and for them after the long journey they all made was fantastic and hopefully we came to cheer about on Tuesday again."
The Exiles reached the fourth round of the competition for the first time in the club’s history last season, overcoming Swansea City, Cambridge United and Watford until they were knocked out by Newcastle United.
And Demetriou says County will be looking to back up the opening day win against Oldham by reaching the second round.
"We can try and build on the performance from Saturday against a very good side in Ipswich,” he added.
"I'm sure the gaffer may make some changes going into it. We've got a lot of games coming up and we've got so many players that can go out and play.
"Last year we were very successful in this competition and it brought in a bit of money into the football club so hopefully we can go there and do well once again.
"We're unfortunate not to be in them in the same league as them this year, but we need to test ourselves against these sorts of teams because we want to be in that league."