Jim Ervin hopes to play a huge part in the business end of the season at Linfield because he knows it’s a period when the Blues show their true colours.
Ervin may be handed an opportunity to return to the heat of the battle following the dismissal of Johnny Black against Crusaders in the Irish Cup.
Left-back Black was shown a straight red card for a robust challenge on Aidan Watson and he must serve an automatic one match ban while the champions visit Donegal Celtic today.
A further suspension waits down the line for Black and the former Coleraine defender will now have to fight his way back into the starting eleven.
But Ervin, who normally slots into a right-back role, has all the experience Linfield need to call upon as they cling on to their title dream.
The Reds are now 13 points ahead of the champions and Linfield, as well as Crusaders, are relying on other sides to do them huge favours.
However, with six league titles under his belt, Ervin isn’t in the business of raising a white flag.
In fact, he’s more defiant than ever, saying the Blues will “fight tooth and nail” until a title win is mathematically impossible.
“Giving up is not the Linfield way,” says Ervin. “Although the league title is out of our hands it’s up to us and Crusaders to put pressure on the Reds.
“All we can do is keep knocking off the games and get as many wins as we can. We don’t control what Cliftonville do and we aren’t thinking about them.
“At least we are starting to show what we are capable of. Our form at the start of the season was nowhere near good enough.”
Ervin is 19 appearances away from hitting the 300 mark for the Blues.
“The reality at Linfield is that you won’t play all the time because the squad is so strong,” he added.