PAUL Robinson has revealed that Millwall's rise up the Championship table has been a major comfort to him during his recovery from a pelvis injury.
Robinson, who has made just three appearances this season, is hoping to be fully fit in the New Year after being sidelined by a string of injuries dating back to a double hernia operation in June.
But the 30-year-old says the Lions' 13-game unbeaten run, which was brought to an end by a 3-0 defeat at Ipswich Town last weekend, has kept him going in recent months.
"That lads have been fantastic – that's been the one bright thing for me, to be honest," he told Lions Live. "They've been on a great run.
"It's been great to watch. It took us a long time last season to get that winning formula but we seem to have found it early on. Hopefully I can come back into a winning team.
"I keep setting a return date but it keeps getting revised. In my mind, I've taken a step backwards – I'm staying relaxed rather than trying to force it. Maybe that will ease a bit of tension.
"I'm hoping to be back in January at some point. I'm in the middle of a coaching badge so I've been trying to watch games from a different viewpoint.
"I'm keeping myself active and interested, rather than focused on the frustration of not being out on the pitch playing regularly."
Mark Beevers and Danny Shittu have flourished at the heart of Millwall's defence in Robinson's absence and the centre-back has paid tribute to the duo's impact.
"Danny and Mark hit it off straight away," he said. "Mark is a great acquisition for the club – he's got a bright future ahead of him.
"I'm amazed that Sheffield Wednesday let him come to us given the predicament that they're in. I've been incredibly impressed with their partnership and it's been the bedrock of our recent results."
The Lions play fifth-placed Leicester City on Saturday and Robinson believes his teammates will face a stern test of their play-off credentials.
"They're a big team coming to The Den and I think that suits us – we've always done well on those occasions and we seem to rise to it," he said.
"It will be good to measure up against them and see how far we have progressed. We've put in some fantastic performances against big teams like Blackburn and Wolves recently.
"There's a lot to be positive about. Now that we're up there, it's crucial to keep up the momentum and produce consistent performances."