Matthew Upson insists he is more than just a back-up defender for England.
Upson, 29, believes he can now realistically challenge the likes of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand for a starting spot under Fabio Capello.
The West Ham defender, who scored the first goal in England's 2-1 win in Germany earlier in the week, says he no longer feels apprehensive after starting in the last three internationals.
"I was hoping to cement a place in the squad and to confirm I'm up to the challenge of playing for England," said Upson.
"I feel I'm on the way to achieving that.
"Scoring a goal and being part of a winning team in Germany is always going to look good on the CV. It was very important for me to get off the mark with a goal.
"Establishing myself is something that is very important to me. It is something I have been working hard to achieve and I want to keep going and I want to show people I deserve to be here and am capable of playing.
"It is important for me not to be regarded as fill-in for John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. It is something I want. That is my goal.
"I just want to keep improving and keep getting the opportunities to play and prove myself to people."
Upson admits it is a massive challenge trying to steel the spotlight from the likes of Ferdinand and Terry, who put in consistent performances at international level.
"It is a massive challenge - and it probably wouldn't be as much fun if it wasn't such a big challenge - but I've got to just keep heading in the right direction and working hard and see what happens," he said.
"I am approaching it in a different mentality now. You have to approach it in a way where you feel you deserve to be there - otherwise you won't play very well."
With the World Cup in South Africa on the horizon, Upson says he is more determined than ever to achieve his goal.
"Being part of things for the World Cup in South Africa is a big goal of mine," he confirms.
"It is something I am focusing on - but who knows?
"There is a lot of good young talent coming through - and, if there are injuries or suspensions, we still have that depth to field a very strong team."