Rory McIlroy is well aware that United States are gunning for him at the Ryder Cup, but he is relishing the challenge .
The Northern Irishman has enjoyed a fine 2014, winning two majors at the The Open Championship and the US PGA Championship, as well as returning to the top of the official golf world rankings.
USA captain Tom Watson earmarked McIlroy and Ian Poulter - star of Europe's superb comeback victory in Medinah two years ago - as the men to beat.
McIlroy, though, is undeterred by the pressure and is eager to step up to the plate for Paul McGinley's European team.
"It's a massive compliment whenever the opposition are talking about you," he told The Daily Mail.
"I know what a huge fillip it would be for them if I lose but it is up to me to make sure it doesn't happen. I'm a double major champion this year and it's important that I embrace that and step up and take on the responsibility.
"I know I will have a target on my back but I love that and I am going to play up to it as much as I can.
"Whoever they want to send out against me, it's no problem to me. I want to lead from the front and by example, and I'm confident enough in the way I am playing right now to do that."
McIlroy also spoke of his desire to use his experience to help a Ryder Cup rookie and has pinpointed Frenchman Victor Dubuisson as a possible partner in the fourballs or foursomes.
"Of all the guys in our team I guess I know Victor the best because we grew up playing amateur golf together," he added.
"I'm not close to him but I've known him a lot longer, so if Paul wants to throw him into the deep end with me, I'd have no qualms about that."
The Ryder Cup is set to begin next Friday at Gleneagles.