For Hull City’s David Meyler, it is a case of whatever it takes.
Fresh from an epic performance of stature and character in captaining the Republic of Ireland to an heroic Group D win in Cardiff which saw Martin O’Neill’s side leapfrog Wales into second place and clinch a spot in the World Cup play-offs, the Hull City midfielder is intent on setting the standards in terms of club matters.
Leading Ireland in the absence of the injured duo of Seamus Coleman and Jonathan Walters, Meyler was a vocal and physical force, even if it was tinged with personal disappointment after he picked up a booking which will rule him out of the first leg of the play-offs.
Meyler’s efforts received an on-pitch embrace from Ireland assistant-manager and fellow Cork native Roy Keane at the final whistle – hugs from Keane are not handed out with abandon and have to be seriously earned.
On a night when experience counted for plenty, Meyler stood tall and he believes that the hardened campaigners in the Hull dressing room must do the same to inspire the club to a strong Championship response after a difficult start to the season.
Meyler said: “We have been there and done it. Gregsy (Allan McGregor) has a promotion, Daws (Michael Dawson) has a promotion; I have two.
“Fraizer (Campbell) has a promotion, Seb (Larsson) has 90 caps for Sweden and has played 280 games in the Premier League.
“We have got players who have played high-end football for a long time, but we need to show the young fellows the way. We need to get them to hit their maximum peak.
“Some will play at a higher level, some will not. But while they are here, they have to push themselves. If we are going to be promoted, we need to be more ruthless.”
Meyler has been honest enough to question whether his own input had been enough in the first few months of the season.
The response from the Irishman and several other older heads such as Larsson and Campbell was emphatic in Hull’s outstanding and by no means flattering 6-1 destruction of Birmingham City ahead of the international break – providing the template for the weeks ahead.
Meyler added: “First and foremost, you need to look at yourself. A few people have looked at themselves in the last few weeks. I have done it. I have asked myself if I am doing enough.
“We hit the standards that we want to be hitting and need to be hitting against Birmingham.”
A sweet win and performance was likely to have been particularly well received by Tigers manager Leonid Slutsky, whose uncharacteristically flat body language and downcast demeanour evident after seeing Hull surrender points late on in bitter fashion in games against Reading and Preston.
Meyler, for his part, was delighted to reward Slutsky with such vibrant result and display, with his raw passion since arriving at the club having struck a chord with his players.
Adamant that Slutsky should be blameless for Hull’s patchy start to the season, Meyler said: “It is not the manager. He can only pick an XI and then it’s up to the players to produce.
“You see him on the touchline, he is running up and down and heading and kicking every ball.
“It is brilliant to see because he is passionate. That passion will come through to the players. He wants us to express ourselves.
“The pressure would have built up. A performance like Birmingham allows you to look forward to the next games.”