Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan accepts he faces a red hot battle to win a place in Tony Pulis' team.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed not to have played as many games as I’d have liked up to now,” acknowledged the 25-year-old play-maker to The Sentinel.
“But credit to the lads for doing so well over the last few months, which meant I couldn’t have any complaints. As disappointing as it is to be out of the team, you always know you have to keep your head right because there is always the possibility of injuries, suspensions or whatever giving you a chance.
“No-one can take their place for granted once they are in the team, because we have such a big squad these days. There are a lot of talented players waiting to get a place in the starting line-up, so it’s bound to keep you on your toes.
“You play one bad game and you know there’s a player waiting to come in and take your place from you.”