Shane Duffy admits he faces a fight on his hands if he wants to become a regular in the heart of the Blackburn defence.
The Irishman joined Rovers last season but after some impressive performances, missed the closing months of the campaign due to a serious knee injury.
However, he is now back fit and raring to go and returned to the side during Saturday’s pre-season win away at League Two Accrington Stanley.
Despite a number of recent exits leaving Gary Bowyer’s squad somewhat bare, centre half is a position he has a number of options to pick from with Duffy, captain Grant Hanley, Matt Kilgallon and Darragh Lenihan all eyeing a spot.
The Irishman admits Bowyer has plenty of depth at the back and believes the competition for places will only benefit the side as it will help him and his rivals improve.
“It’s probably the strongest position in the squad that we’ve got,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph. “And that’s good because it’s making every one of us play better but, whoever gets picked, I’ll be backing them, and I’m sure they’ll do the same.
“All I can do is what I can do and hopefully that’s enough to get me into the team. But it’s going to be tough because the competition is good.”
Duffy will be hoping a strong set of performance in pre-season will help earn him a starting place in Rovers’ opening game of the campaign against Wolves.
Gary Bowyer’s men are currently 2.50 to win the match, with the draw 3.20 and the visitors 2.75.