Dundee United player-coach Charlie Mulgrew admits it is difficult to juggle his dual roles at the club – but he is relishing the challenge.
The 36-year-old was handed a coaching role during the World Cup break but has also played three times since then, with United winning each game.
The former Celtic and Scotland player said: “It’s not easy, I’ll be honest, because you are trying to juggle both. You are trying to play, trying to recover, trying to prepare for the games. It’s not easy.
“Sometimes you are not in the team and you are disappointed, but you are a coach. It’s not easy, it’s something I have never experienced and I have never seen it in my career so far. So it’s difficult.
“But it’s good, it’s one I am relishing. I think in life you have got to take on challenges and it is definitely a challenge.
“I am just basically trying to do the best I can, ask the manager if there is anything more he needs from me in the coaching side of things and if there is, try and do the best I can.
“And when I’m not doing it I try to also juggle recovering because, as you get older, recovery becomes a bit harder. So I have to focus on myself as well as trying to help the team.”
Mulgrew’s coaching work has helped Liam Fox’s team pick up some good results – they have only lost to Rangers and Celtic since the break.
They remain joint bottom on points with three other teams and face one of their nearest rivals, Kilmarnock, at Rugby Park on Wednesday.
Mulgrew stressed the importance of focusing on the process rather than being caught up in the hype around their position.
“We can’t affect any other team apart from us so we are concentrating on the way we believe we can pick up results,” he said.
“As staff and players we are concentrating on performances and doing what we have worked on for weeks now.
“We believe if we focus on that over the course, we will pick up points.
“You can’t affect what other teams do, you can’t affect other results, it’s what you do. And sometimes you can’t actually affect your result. When I say that, you can outplay a team and do exactly what you want to do, and if they get a bit of luck then that’s the game.
“But over the course of a season if you do things properly and everyone is on the same page, we believe we can pick up enough points.”