Matthew Lowton’s hopes of joining Aston Villa’s elite list of ever-present Premier League stars is hanging in the balance.
The right-back is walking a suspension tightrope and faces a two-game ban if he is cautioned again during the next three outings.
Lowton, pictured, has played every single minute of Villa’s 30 top-flight games so far this season and is just eight appearances away from keeping that run going until the end of the campaign.
Should he stay suspension and injury-free between now and May 19, the 23-year-old is likely to mark his debut Premier League term with an incredible achievement.
But after already picking up nine bookings this term, he must make it through Sunday’s clash with Liverpool and then the following fixtures against Stoke City and Fulham to stand any chance of the personal glory.
Of course, the defender’s first aim is to keep his side in the division but adding his name to Villa’s history is also firmly on his mind.
“In pre-season the manager told me to work my socks off and try to get in the team. I was lucky enough to start the first game and I’ve played every minute in the league since,” he said.
“Sometimes when I look back and compare last season to what I’m doing now it’s unbelievable. But I can’t rest on it and I want to continue to play every single minute of every game.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, but we knew it would be at the start of the season.
“There are a lot of young lads, new players with a new management coming together.
“We have shown we can stick together and fight and we have to do that in the remaining games.”
Lowton must avoid any further yellow cards before April 14 else he will be suspended for two games for reaching 10 cautions.
If he can get past that date without going into the referee’s notebook he will be on course to become the only Villa player to record such statistics this term. The ex-Sheffield United ace has picked up the majority of his bookings after the Christmas period – a time when the going really started to get tough for Villa.
Getting through the next set of fixtures unscathed will be tough as he is averaging a booking every other game over his last ten starts.
Should Lowton remain ever-present in the Premier League he will join a list of former claret and blue greats.
Other outfield players include Stewart Downing, Gareth Barry, Wilfred Bouma, Martin Laursen, Olof Mellberg, Jlloyd Samuel, Paul Merson, Gareth Southgate, Alan Wright, Ugo Ehiogu, and Kevin Richardson.
Goalkeepers Brad Friedel, Thomas Sorensen, David James and Mark Bosnich also make up the list.