Sebastian Coates knows he will have to bide his time before earning a regular place in Liverpool's first team.
Despite his stunning scissor-kick goal in the defeat by Queens Park Rangers, last summer's signing from Nacional was dropped to the bench for Saturday's loss at the hands of Wigan.
But Coates accepts he faces a battle to fight his way ahead of Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and the presently injured Daniel Agger.
Liverpool's Premier League campaign has been a disappointment, but only Manchester City and Manchester United have conceded fewer goals and Coates recognises the competition for defensive places.
He told Liverpool's Official Matchday Programme: "I feel more settled now. As the months and the time goes by, the period becomes a lot more easy.
"I am enjoying the football and I know I have to be patient to play more games, purely because the other defenders have been so consistent for a long time.
"That is the nature of defence. Especially in that position, when it is working, you don't change it.
"I gained this attitude when Diego Godin had an injury before the Copa America and I got a chance. Because I did well, I stayed in the team.
"So you must respect your team-mates when they perform. There can be no arguments."
Throughout the season, Coates has been watching Skrtel, Carragher and Agger in order to develop his game, but he has also been in awe of captain Steven Gerrard.
"His reputation is worldwide," Coates said of the England international. "When I was younger in Uruguay, I would see a lot of the Champions League games that Liverpool were involved in.
"He was always so influential, putting in some fantastic performances. He is the kind of player that everybody hopes to one day call a team-mate. It is an education to be on the same side as him."