Melbourne Victory defender James Donachie believes the constant battle for a starting XI spot in Kevin Muscat's squad is making him a better player this season.
He played the first two rounds of the campaign before being replaced by Nick Ansell, whose recent injury paved the way for Donachie to return to the team last week.
Donachie put in a strong performance alongside Alan Baro in the 1-1 draw against Perth Glory, keeping the visitors' attackers at bay while creating many of Victory's forward thrusts.
But the heat has been back on at training this week as Ansell edges closer to being available for Saturday night's trip to play Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ Stadium.
“Me and Nick are good mates. He missed that week with a knee injury and I got my chance again," Donachie told reporters on Wednesday.
"Hopefully I can try and keep him out for a few weeks now and keep my spot.”
Since arriving at AAMI Park, Donachie has welcomed the competition for places in the centre of defence.
"I always came down here saying there was going to be competition," he said.
"I never came thinking I was going to start every game week in, week out.
"It keeps me on my toes and makes me a better player at the end of the day. It's just healthy competition.
"I always come to training and pretty much work my heart out every day. I've been that way since I started playing professionally."
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