Frustrated Joleon Lescott has spoken of his disappointment at being unable to hold onto a regular Manchester City starting spot.
But the £22million defender insists the uncertainty surrounding a place in the side can be a good thing.
Lescott, 28, has played just five of City's Premier League games this season and dropped to the bench for the 3-0 home defeat to Arsenal.
And his misery of being named as a substitute against the Gunners was compounded when he saw replacement Dedryck Boyata sent off just five minutes into the big clash.
Lescott said in the Daily Mirror: "I was disappointed not to start before the game, never mind the sending off.
"It's hard, you're never at ease, you can never relax and be content with the way you perform because you know that if you don't perform to the highest level then someone's going to come in and take your place.
"So in a way it's good to be like that, but obviously for some occasions it's nice to be relaxed and to be content with your performances and know you're going to play."
But Lescott insists the spirit in the Eastlands camp has not been affected by the intense competition for places.
He added: "We know how close we are as a unit - our camaraderie is great."