Nathan Elder has shrugged-off the concern of losing his first-team place to young revelation Jordan Rhodes - and also pledged never to change his uncompromising style of play - no matter what the consequences.
The Brentford frontman - who has picked up five bookings and two red cards so far this season - was banned for four games after being sent-off against Notts County last month.
Elder was adjudged to have deliberately used his elbow in an aerial challenge with Magpies' skipper Mike Edwards, and was given a straight red.
However, the targetman has taken his ban with a pinch of salt, and having come off the bench to figure in last Saturday's game against Chester, he remains upbeat over his involvement with the squad.
"I do think that the red card was unfair, like a lot of people," Elder told the Gazette.
"There are many opinions on it - we can talk about it for months. But that's the past. I want to focus on playing and getting myself back in the first 11. "When I think of the players that weren't even on the bench [against Chester], I feel lucky to be involved at all.
"[Unexpected] things are always going to happen in football, that's why we all love it, whether it's deserved or not. You've got to take it with a smile."
Elder continued: "My style is very aerial and physical, which maybe Jordan Rhodes and Charlie McDonald don't have, but they have skills that I haven't got.
"I'm not going to change my style, and I'm quite happy being the person I am."
He added jokingly: "I'm top of the bad-boys list [at Brentford], so I thought to myself if I'm going to be there, I'm going to do it properly."
Elder's ban gave Ipswich Town loanee Rhodes the opportunity to show his worth, but nobody could predict the gleeful vigour with which the young starlet would pounce on his chance - scoring his first professional hat-trick against Shrewsbury Town a week into his move and entertaining Bees fans with delightful flashes of skill. But even though Rhodes has flourished at Elder's expense, the striker is happy for him.
"With that ban coming, I knew someone would be offered a chance to do a job and Jordan took it very well, with his first professional hattrick. Even I have to say 'congratulations'," he said.
"He's a great player - a quality striker with bundles of talent. Between him and Charlie Mac, we're getting plenty of goals, and I hope that I can be a part of that."
Elder continued: "With the striking options now at the club, the manager can decide which style of play to use against other teams - which we can use to our advantage and switch around when needed."
On the evidence of Rhodes' recent performances, Brentford will be doing everything in their power to secure his signature for the rest of the season.
The 19-year-old was a menace throughout the dominant 3-0 win over Chester City at the weekend, and helped Charlie MacDonald to a hat-trick with two assists - leaving Brentford fans, once again, waxing lyrical about the youngster's talent. Elder, however, has a different goal on his mind - three to be precise.
"One of the jokes among the squad now is that there's a 'first-half hat-trick' club," he laughed. "I asked them, where do I sign up? I want to be involved in that!
"But seriously, if you don't have competition, you're never going to push yourself - all three strikers know that.
"There are only two spots for three contenders, and it's precisely that kind of situation that will push us up."
Saturday Details BEES (0) 3 CHESTER C (0) 0 Line-up: Hamer; Halls, Bennett, Phillips, Dickson; Newton, O'Connor (Hunt 65), Bean, Wood; Rhodes (Williams 85), MacDonald (Elder 65). Subs not used: Brown, Osborne. Attendance: 4,719 GOALS: MacDonald (21, 35, 45pen). MoM: Charlie MacDonald
Griffin Park Saturday 3pm League Two
Manager: Dean Glover Position last season: 23rd in League 1 Form Guide: Lodged in the lower half of the table,Vale have won four and lost seven on the road. The wins have come at Luton (3-1),Shrewsbury (2-1),Chester (2-1) and Lincoln City (1-0). The defeats have been inflicted by Darlington (1-2),Gillingham (0-1),Aldershot (0-1),Wycombe (2-4),Bury (0-3),Rotherham (0-1) and Notts County (2-4).
Players to look out for: Marc Richards is the top scorer with 10 goals in all competitions.
Most recent meetings: Port Vale 0-3 Brentford (15 Nov 2008) - League Two; Brentford 4-3 Port Vale (28 Apr 2007); Port Vale 1-0 Brentford (16 Dec 2006) - League One.
Head-to-head record: BEES Wins: 21 PV Wins: 25 Draws: 6
Match Facts: The Bees will be going for their second double of the season (the first was against Macclesfield), having thumped Vale on their patch with goals from Karleigh Osborne, Marcus Bean and Charlie MacDonald. Charlie Ide (pictured) scored twice when the Valiants last played at Griffin Park - a seven-goal thriller that the Bees edged. Vale last won at Griffin Park three years ago, when they won a League One fixture 1-0. The Bees had one of the biggest ever league wins against Vale. They crushed them 8-0 in an old second division fixture 75 years ago.
Forecast: If the Bees reproduce their normal standards, they should again have too much for the Valiants.
Gazette forecast success rate: 21 out of 32 (66 per cent)