Michael Turner is happy to fight for his place in Sunderland's miserly defence as they attempt to build on an impressive start to the season.
The 26-year-old returned from injury to take his place in the Black Cats' rearguard for the trip to Liverpool on September 25 and was a key figure in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United at the Stadium of Light a week later.
Steve Bruce's men, who head for Blackburn on Monday evening, have conceded only seven goals in their seven Barclays Premier League games to date, and with Arsenal and United having already played on Wearside either side of the trip to Anfield, that is a creditable return.
The fact that it has been achieved by a defence in which Turner, Titus Bramble, John Mensah, Anton Ferdinand, Paulo da Silva, Nedum Onuoha, Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley have already appeared in front of second-choice keeper Simon Mignolet makes it all the more noteworthy.
Turner said: "Hopefully I will be in the back four for long parts of the season. John Mensah, Paulo and Anton are all fighting for the same position, so there is huge competition.
"But that's a good thing, I feel, to be kept on your toes and to know you need to put in a good performance to keep your shirt."