Ciaran Clark admits Aston Villa's defence will have to suffer a serious malfunction before he is considered for a first-team place.
Villa's solid defence has made a splendid start to the campaign after conceding just one goal in their opening three Premier League games.
Alex McLeish has watched with pleasure as the formidable pairing of James Collins and Richard Dunne have marshalled various strikers with apparent ease.
At 21, Clark knows that he has an abundance of time on his side, as central defenders do not reach their most commanding form until their late 20s or early 30s.
"I'd love to be in the team week in and week out, but I know with the centre-backs in front of me it's not going to be the case," he told the Express and Star.
"I've just got to get my head down and keep working hard in training, hope for the chance and when I get it, try and take it.
"It's a challenge I relish. I've got to keep in and around the team, keep working hard and showing what I can do."