Steven Taylor has outlined his determination to secure a spot in the Newcastle United starting line-up at the start of next season.
Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson have been Alan Pardew's preferred centre-half pairing this term during the Magpies' solid return to the Premier League.
Taylor has been a frustrated bystander for much of the campaign, sitting out the opening months as he recovered from a shoulder problem and then finding himself sidelined by a hamstring injury in January.
However, he has made an eye-catching return to the starting line-up in the wake of Williamson's broken arm in the last two games and is in no mood to step aside.
Asked how determined he is to hang onto the shirt, 25-year-old Taylor said: "Too right, that's what I want.
"I have always had competition since I was a 16-year-old lad coming into the reserves.
"I remember seeing there were seven centre-halves in front of me at the time. I got past all of them and that's where I want to be right now.
"The manager makes the decisions and it is up to him what he does. At the end of the day, myself, Coloccini and Williamson are options for him."
Injuries have proved something of an occupational hazard for Taylor in recent seasons with shoulder dislocations in particular costing him too much football for his own liking.
In that respect, he is delighted to be back fit and raring to go, and he is grateful to manager Pardew for how he has handled his situation.
He said: "It's all about training every day and just waiting for your chance, more than anything.
"The gaffer didn't rush me back. He has done really well for me, but just to get my chance is great now."