James Coppinger says he must put his emotional connection with Doncaster Rovers aside as he bids to help their battle against relegation.
After 12 years with Rovers, Coppinger says he cannot be anything other than a fan of the club.
But he does not want emotion to cloud his focus on getting the necessary number of wins from the final ten games to secure survival, beginning with the visit of Peterborough United this afternoon.
“I’m a massive fan,” said Coppinger, who has recovered from an ankle problem.
“You can’t be somewhere for 12 or 13 years and not care about the club and what happens to it.
“And when you’re part of that it’s even more frustrating.
“But the biggest thing is forgetting about that in a way, putting it to the back of your mind and concentrating on Peterborough.
“It’s a football match, don’t be thinking about anything else, be clear in your mind and focused on getting three points.”
Given his status as Rovers’ all-time leading appearance maker Coppinger admits he feels a lot of responsibility as he prepares to return to action after playing just one game in six weeks.
And he says it is up to him and the other senior players to ensure the rest of the squad are in a positive frame of mind for the run in.
He said: “I feel a lot of responsibility full stop.
“I’m captain of the club, I’ve been here 12 years, I’m a senior player.
“But I like that responsibility, I thrive on that responsibility, this is what you play football for.
“I’ve played 20-odd years of football. I’ve got all this experience I can help other people with.
“So it’s frustrating when you’re not playing and you want to be involved because people can learn from that.
“Me, the manager and all the senior players have to get the others going and make them realise we’re not relegated.
“There’s ten games to go and we could finish mid-table.
“There’s a long way to go.”