David Perkins admits he’s had to tweak his role and ambitions within the Wigan Athletic squad this term at the ripe old age of 35.
Two seasons ago, Perkins led from the front as Latics clinched the League One title, sweeping the board at the player of the year awards.
This time round, his role has been far more of a supporting capacity, with his only league start coming in the 3-2 defeat at Peterborough last month.
The summer arrival of Lee Evans to compliment newly-appointed skipper Sam Morsy has meant Perkins and Max Power – another central figure two years ago – have had to bide their time so far.
But Perkins is certainly not going to trying to upset the applecart with things going as well as they are.
“My role’s probably changed a little bit as I’ve got older,” he told the Wigan Post.
“You look at Sam Morsy, Lee Evans, Max Power, even Nick Powell...there’s plenty of competition for my position.
“I’ve just been training as hard as I can, and if I’m called upon hopefully I’ll be able to do the job.
“Obviously you always want to play every week, but sometimes that’s not possible.
“That can frustrate you, but I’ve tried to look at it the other way.
“I’ve tried to embrace my role as an older head around the place, helping the younger players wherever I can.
“The last thing you need in a dressing room is a negative vibe coming from anyone, which might undermine what’s happening.
“That’s certainly not the case here – the mood among the lads is brilliant, we’ve even been talking about our Christmas do!”
After stepping in for the suspended Morsy at Peterborough, Perkins will be eyeing involvement against Southend on Saturday, given Evans’ red card at Scunthorpe last weekend.
And with Latics aiming to improve on a sequence of six wins from the last seven matches, Perkins says the vibe at the club is a far cry from the woe of last season.
“There were a lot more downs than ups last year to be fair,” he grimaced.
That’s part and parcel of being a footballer I guess. You have to keep smiling, keep working hard, and hope it changes. Thankfully it has.”