Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has sent a clear message to his players that nobody is safe.
The Dutchman started club captain Simon Colosimo on the bench for last weekend's 0-0 draw with Gold Coast United after he missed the derby win over the Victory the week before with injury.
van 't Schip's message that not even the captain and key central defender can walk back into the side shows the he really means business according to goalkeeper Clint Bolton.
"It sends a clear message to everyone in the squad that no one is safe, no one's above the team and the coach, to his credit, that's the message he's sent," Bolton said.
"Simon's a pro. He would have taken it on the chin and is working hard at training to get his spot back.
"He's no different to anyone else and it's a good sign. It's a great sign.
"It means there's competition and people have to lift their game the whole time and not just in the games themselves, but at training. It's a good position for the coach to be in, definitely."
The Heart are getting ready to take on Newcastle Jets at Port Macquarie on Sunday, after the original fixture was moved from EnergyAustralia Stadium, and Bolton says thing are progressing well for the A-League's newest club ahead of the Week 12 clash.
"We've found a bit of consistency. That was something we were screaming out for at the start of the year," he added.
"We were up and down, but the last three games have been superb.
"You can't fault the effort and we've been playing some good football and that's the most pleasing thing.
"We realise now each individual has to work hard for their spot.
"We've got a full squad and that's helping things.
"It's competitive and we realise we've got to match teams with effort and then try to outplay them rather than doing it the other way around."