Wigan Athletic winger Kevin Kilbane believes Steve Bruce has a strong squad at his fingertips this season.
The Latics finished just four points clear of the drop zone last term, but Kilbane believes it will be a different story this time around.
With competition for places in Bruce's starting XI fierce, Kilbane thinks players will be forced to stay on top of their game in order to stay in the manager's thoughts.
Wigan trio Paul Scharner, Chris Kirkland and Jason Koumas are all battling to be fit for the start of the new season and Kilbane believes the trio's return will only strengthen Bruce's options.
"We have a strong squad here of about 19 or 20 outfield players who can all step into the team and do an equally good job," he told the Wigan Evening Post.
"It should be tough competition all season. We all want to be in the team, everyone will be looking over their shoulders week in, week out.
"When you look at the squad which has featured in the recent matches, remember there are still players to come back from injury.
"They (Scharner, Kirkland and Koumas) are players who can come back and make us stronger, so I think things are looking good for us. We're ready to start the season now having played well in pre-season.
"Of course results in friendly matches don't stand for anything when the season starts, but we are confident. West Ham will be a totally different test to what we've had over the last few weeks. Hopefully we can meet that challenge."