Jack Ross says Max Power was ‘honoured’ after being handed the captain’s armband on Tuesday night.
Club captain George Honeyman missed the clash with Peterborough United after suffering a head injury in training.
Lee Cattermole also missed the the game through suspension.
Power was making only his ninth appearance for the club but Ross says he was a more than worthy recipient of the armband.
The 25-year-old has already become a popular figure with supporters and looks set to nail down a first team spot after returning from a suspension of his own.
“He deserves it in terms of the players that were available tonight because of the way he trains every single day, how he is around the group and the standards he sets on the pitch as well,” Ross said.
“ I think, around the group, we have a number of players who can take on that role and I wanted that within the group.
“George has done the job fantastically well for me as a young man, but he’ll know that he’s got good support around him in Max and Catts and Glenn, Jack - guys that have all done it - and Jon McLaughlin who is experienced.
“These guys have all got good leadership attributes in different ways and Max was chuffed.
“That’s pleasing for me as a manager as it’s always interesting to see their reaction and he was honoured to do it.
“I think that was reflected in his performance.”
Power took to twitter after the game to praise his team-mates.
He wrote: “Proud of the lads tonight. Had to dig deep. Getting closer to were we want to be. Some great football fist half and felt we done enough to win the game! Onto Bradford Saturday.”
Ross’ decision to hand Honeyman the club captaincy has caused plenty of debate this season but the Black Cats boss has been steadfast in his praise.
“In terms of his performances, by his own admission there will be some games he will think he could do better in, other games he has performed well in,” Ross said last month.
“He has had to play a lot of different positions. My own thoughts, his forward runs and energy, for me, makes him most effective in that middle to front area. We have had to chop and change systems.
“From taking on the captaincy and that responsibility, you become a figurehead and naturally one that becomes more likely to be criticised.
“You speak to people around the club and they speak to me about Jordan Henderson, when he was at the club as a player and got some criticism for his performances and yet now he is probably perceived in a totally different way given his success with Liverpool and England,” Ross added.
“George knows how supportive I am in terms of his role but equally he is no different to any other player and needs to perform to a certain level to stay in the team but he has done well for me.”
Honeyman will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bradford City.