John Paintsil insists he is keen to play the role of captain and help qualify Ghana to the quarter-finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
The defender will lead the Black Stars on Saturday against Mali in a Group D clash at the Stade de Franceville with either side needing a win to confirm their place in the last eight.
Though sad about the absence of regular captain, John Mensah through suspension, Paintsil's enthusiasm to captain his country has not been dampened.
Paintsil says it's an honour to captain Ghana.
“It’s an honour leading Ghana but not an easy task. I always feel proud wearing the national shirt. I have handled such situations before and even when (Stephen) Appiah was captain, I was called on sometimes to lead the team," Paintsil said.
“We have a great squad that I can always count on.”
Mensah's absence means, Goran Stevanovic will have to change the team that started against Botswana in the opening group fixture. And Paintsil believes Ghana has enough quality to step in for Mensah.
“It's a fact that we would miss John Mensah. He is a great leader and good team player. We all know his qualities," he said.
“Despite his absence, we can count on the rest of the squad. Jonathan Mensah is another good player who is capable of playing on any day. He would step in and do the job.”