Newcastle Jets stalwart Nikolai Topor-Stanley admits that finals football may be out of the Novocastrian's control, yet it won't affect their desire against Wellington Phoenix.
The defensive maestro has steered one of the leakiest defences in the league this season alongside his counterpart, skipper and similarly seasoned campaigner, Nigel Boogard.
It's been a sea change from the steady-as-she-goes Jets backline last season, that saw the club reach the A-League Grand Final.
But coach Ernie Merrick has remained steadfast in backing the two experienced centre-halves, allowing Topor-Stanley to play every minute this season.
"That's the way I like it, I do my best to keep myself available and fit, ready for games," Topor-Stanley said.
"There's no secret, just hard work and a good sports staff, I've got to give a lot of credit to the guys here, they're the best I've come across in my career and at my age I need it."
The Jets are still within finals contention but largely mathematically, after Melbourne City and their next opponents, Wellington Phoenix, picked up important wins while Topor-Stanley's side sunk 3-2 to Central Coast Mariners.
"We've only had a couple of sessions but we've got a week off now to rejuvenate and get things right," he said.
"The positive is that we have time to try new things and get some miles into our legs, yet we still want to make up for the negative of the loss.
"If I had the answer to how to make finals I'd be a millionaire, we've got to be clinical because there was a period where we went awry."
The F3 Derby loss - their first in the last 10 meetings - took the spice out of next weekend's encounter, however it hasn't removed the Jets' finals hope: many of them have personal motivation to play well.
"You're always playing for your future, regardless of what's on paper, anything can happen. Coaches come and ago, any situation is possible," the 34-year-old added.
"If you let it get into your mind, it can always be the case."