Manchester City defender Micah Richards admits that he is up for a battle as he aims to hold onto his spot ahead of the new Premier League season.
The 22-year-old believes that the challenge to hold onto his position will be tested to the full as new signing Jerome Boateng will compete alongside himself and Pablo Zabaleta.
The England international is able to play at both right-back and central defence as can Germany star Boateng.
Richards told the club's official website: "He (Boateng) is like me; he can play happily in both so I can see a battle ahead! We are around the same age and I am sure we can spur one another along.
"I am well up for the challenge of what lies ahead. There have been lots of things said and written about my future at City this summer but I think from the effort I have put in during training and in the pre-season games that it is evident to everyone that I want to stay at City.
"It does affect your concentration when you are consistently linked with a move away or people are talking about you being replaced - especially as I have been here for so long.
"Sometimes you get a bit down when these things are constantly being said and I play best when I am happy and confident which I am at the moment."