Wayne Bridge says he does not see himself as Ashley Cole's understudy at Chelsea.
Chelsea pushed out the boat to bring Cole to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal in the summer and he has established himself as the number one left-back under Jose Mourinho.
Bridge, though, has impressed his Portuguese tactician with his efforts this term and was rewarded with a new contract last week.
The former Southampton man admits it was tough to come to terms with the club's capture of Cole, but is happy to battle his international colleague for a place in the side.
"It was difficult when Ashley turned up," Bridge admitted in an interview on the club's official website. "He is a great player but I see it as an even affair.
"They have given me the chance to sign a new contract and hopefully I will get more opportunities to play and it will be an even fight for the place.
"I spoke to Jose before Ashley signed. The gaffer always told me he was going to bring in a left-back and Ashley always looked like being the first choice.
"Jose told me it would be an even affair so I was happy to sign a new deal.
"I hope he sticks to that but I am getting chances to play. He seems happy with me but if anyone takes a dip in form they are not going to play.
"Ashley is one of the best in the world but I don't see myself just sitting behind him.
"I don't see myself as second choice, I see it as an even affair."