SAM Collins admits he hasn’t had time to think about not playing since taking up the role as assistant manager at Hartlepool United.
But the veteran defender insists he hasn’t retired yet but knows he is right down the pecking order at Pools.
The 37-year-old has only made nine appearances this season and looks unlikely to add to that tally while he focuses on assisting Ronnie Moore and overseeing the reserve side.
Scott Harrison made his loan deal from Sunderland permanent on Deadline Day, while Dan Jones has come on leaps and bounds since Moore moved him into central defence.
On-loan Scunthorpe United defender David Mirfin has added some much-needed experience while Neil Austin and Matthew Bates are also ahead of Collins in the pecking order.
Collins is comfortable with that though and insists his focus is fully on doing all he can to help Moore.
“I haven’t had time to think about not playing, to be honest,” Collins told SportMail.
“I have been that busy with everything and driving round the country watching players every day and doing sessions.
“We have also had a busy run of games and travelling so I have just been concentrating on my new role.
“It isn’t about me though, the most important thing is us staying up.”
Collins is a self-confessed fitness fanatic and has been keeping himself fit, even though he hasn’t been doing much training with his teammates over recent weeks.
Moore has previously told SportMail he is enjoying working with Collins and the pair split the training duties on the pitches at Maiden Castle.
Collins added: “I could still play but I haven’t done a lot of training, to be fair.
“I do my own thing and keep fit but the bodies we have got in have helped.
“Scott [Harrison] and Dan [Jones] have done well and we’ve brought in David Mirfin too so we are happy with the options.
“I am right down the pecking order. I am still registered though and not retired yet!”