Zat Knight is prepared to battle for a place in the heart of Aston Villa's defence this season.
The towering centre-half is currently sitting behind Martin Laursen and Curtis Davies in the Villa Park pecking order, while big-money signing Carlos Cuellar is also pushing for a place after regaining full fitness.
The abundance of talent available to Martin O'Neill means Knight is not even assured of a place on the bench, but the England international is determined to show the manager that he is deserving of a starting role.
"It's been frustrating but I understand how football works," Knight told the Birmingham Mail.
"The manager bought Curtis and me in the same week (last year) and he started the season with me. I played the first four months and then got suspended, Curtis came in and I had to wait.
"It's kind of like the roles have been reversed now. It's frustrating as I'm used to playing week in, week out. I'll be keeping level-headed and when I get my opportunity I'll be looking to take it.
"It will come. We've got a lot of games coming up so when I do get a chance it's up to me to make a good case for myself. I felt I did that against FH Hafnarfjordur (in the Uefa Cup qualifiers) and I'm training well so that's all I can do."
Knight accepts that Premier League clubs require strength in depth to compete and is willing to bide his time before being handed his opportunity to shine.
He added: "Defensively I think that's where we are strongest. You know that if you do have a bad game there is somebody ready to step in.
"Centre-half is not a position the manager is going to change lightly so everyone is on their toes.
"All of us want to play week in, week out. At the moment it's Curtis and Martin but until anything changes you need to keep working hard.
"Yes, I do want to play but so do Curtis, Martin and Carlos. Until you are given that chance you just have to wait.
"Obviously I want to be a part of it more. A lot of people are saying things like 'he's not playing' but we are only three games in! When my chance comes I know I will take it, I think it's going to be a great season."