Lee Cattermole is hoping to get back to his top form at Sunderland, with the midfielder fighting for a regular place in the team this season.
Cattermole didn’t start for the Black Cats against Stoke or Norwich recently, and David Vaughan has been giving the former captain some tough competition for a spot on the side.
And after Cattermole made his return against West Brom, he says he hopes to build on that performance and cement his place in a permanent position once more.
"No professional wants to sit on the bench and it was hard to take, but all I can do is get my head down and work hard because you don't become a bad player overnight,” he said.
"The gaffer has brought players in who have been training really well and if I'm not pulling trees up on the pitch he will give them a chance.
"It's up to me to get back to the top of my game to stay in the team. That's a challenge I'm looking forward to and I think it'll make me a better player.
"Competition is a big incentive and a good thing to have. I don't want to feel I'm the first name on the team sheet - I need to be playing well and having people pushing will help me."
Sunderland have so far failed to impress this season, and after a 2-2 draw with West Brom before the international break, the Black Cats will be looking to beat Arsenal away this weekend to get their campaign back on track.