Patrice Evra believes he must show leadership on and off the field after inheriting the Manchester United captaincy.
With Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the season and neither Ryan Giggs nor Rio Ferdinand considered fit enough to guarantee their place in Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up, Evra has got the job.
It has set the fiery France defender up for a stiff examination of his character at Anfield later this month when United head to Merseyside for their powderkeg FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Ferguson has already declared he has no issues about naming Evra in his side for their first encounter with Liverpool since the storm erupted over Luis Suarez's comments to the former Monaco man, which landed him with an eight-match ban.
And while Evra has deliberately steered away from the topic, he accepts being captain brings additional responsibility.
"Of course I am proud," he said.
"It is a privilege to be the captain of this team.
"But it is a big responsibility. You have to show the example on the pitch and sometimes out of it as well."
Evra has already captained United to one major honour, the 2010 Carling Cup final when the Red Devils came from behind to beat Aston Villa.
However, the 30-year-old realises leading them to a record 20th league championship would represent an altogether different achievement.
Saturday's 3-0 win over Bolton at Old Trafford got United back on track following successive defeats to Blackburn and Newcastle.
Yet Evra knows Manchester City will re-establish their three-point advantage if they overcome Wigan at the DW Stadium this evening.
Not that Evra is happy speaking about City.
While he recognises the talent Roberto Mancini has at his disposal, the former Monaco man is adamant the key to United's chances of success lies inside their own dressing room.
"We have to stop talking about their games all the time and keep talking about Manchester United," Evra said.
"The most important thing is that we won against Bolton.
"It doesn't matter if City win, lose or draw.
"After getting one match out of the way, we just have to rest and be focussed on Arsenal next Sunday.
"For us it is about United. We have to be focused on what we do and how we play and I think we are going to win the league."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies