Gareth Barry says he is experienced enough to navigate his way across the disciplinary tightrope he will walk this weekend.
The midfielder has collected nine yellow cards throughout the duration of the season and a further booking against Sunderland on Saturday would result in a two-game suspension, ruling him out of the crunch games at home to Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
Barry will also definitely be unavailable for selection when Everton face parent club Manchester City in the penultimate game of the season.
The 33-year-old got through the wins over Fulham and Arsenal unscathed – but is fully aware that he must avoid doing anything rash against the Black Cats in what is the final game before the yellow card amnesty.
Barry told evertontv: “It’s in your mind – it’s got to be because you don’t want to miss two games at this stage of the season.
“Certainly against Fulham at times in the game I was thinking about it when going into challenges or chasing back.
“But that’s part of the game and I’m experienced enough to know when to make a tackle or when not to now. It’s in my hands but you can’t let it affect your game too much because then you will be affecting the team.”
James McCarthy served a one-match suspension earlier in the campaign after receiving five cautions.
And Barry accepts that players occupying central roles will naturally accumulate bookings throughout the course of a season.
He added: “I’m sure if you look through the teams and at the bookings, the majority will be in those defensive midfield positions.”