HULL KR half-back Danny McGuire approaches the last game of his illustrious career conceding his side have been “weighed down” by the threat of relegation.
Admittedly, if they win at Salford Red Devils tonight that threat will disappear in an instant.
Still, it is a big ‘if’ given their hosts, far from weighed down, are flying and aiming for an eighth successive victory.
Moreover, Rovers were in the same position a week ago and bombed spectacularly, suffering a last-ditch home loss to bottom-club London Broncos.
They start this final night in 11th spot, one of four clubs who could still drop, but McGuire does not care one jot for the various different permutations.
“We just want to take care of our own performance,” said the former Great Britain star.
The lower teams at the back end have played nervous. They have played like they are weighed down by the pressure and I definitely think we’ve played like that.Hull KR’s Danny McGuire
“We were disappointed with what we dished up against London. The biggest disappointment was we were out-enthused.
“In a situation like that – to get out-enthused is disappointing.
“Now we have to go to Salford, play well and not think about results and other scenarios. Just take care of our own backyard.”
But the legendary ex-Leeds Rhinos star reflects on how Rovers – who have failed to win back-to-back games all year – have suffered amid the firestorm.
McGuire, 36, said: “From what I’ve seen of Super League this year, the lower teams at the back end have played nervous.
“They have played like they are weighed down by the pressure and I definitely think we’ve played like that.
“We need to just flip that around and go out there and play with no fear on Friday.”
McGuire’s try last week looked like being the one that clinched survival and a perfect last hurrah until London stung them.
Now, though, the prolific player just needs one point to reach 1,000 Super League points.
What price, then, a Golden Point drop-goal to save Hull KR’s place at the top-table – against the same opponents who relegated them in such a manner in the 2016 Million Pound Game.
“That would be nice,” smiled the eight-time Grand Final winner. “I’d take anything to be honest, any kind of win.”
“A golden point or I’d take four to get over that 1,000 would be really good. “But again it’s about the team and performing for the team, doing my role within that.”
McGuire, who will captain the side in the absence of suspended Joel Tomkins, maintains his preparation will not change ahead of the last 80 minutes of a career that started back in 2001.
“It won’t change anything: I’ll do everything that I’ve always done,” he said.
“It probably will be emotional. I was a bit emotional on Friday.
“I was frustrated after the game and didn’t get chance to savour the atmosphere.
“Obviously when you’ve lost you want to get back in the changing rooms and get away from everything. I’m looking forward to it this Friday as I know the time is right.
“I want to go out with a good performance and hopefully a good win.”