Liverpool defender Kolo Toure admits he is spurred on by the extra competition provided by fellow new signings Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.
Following his summer arrival the Ivorian slotted seamlessly into the void left by the retirement of Jamie Carragher at the end of last season.
However, with Sakho and Ilori coming in late in the transfer window from Paris St Germain and Sporting Lisbon manager Brendan Rodgers' centre-back options have been bolstered further.
And when Toure missed the victory over Manchester United a fortnight ago through injury the out-of-favour Martin Skrtel produced an impressive performance in his first appearance of the campaign.
It means a number of players are now fighting it out to partner new vice-captain Daniel Agger in central defence but Toure is not worried by the prospect.
"It's fantastic. It has increased the competition and everybody has to work really hard every day," said the 32-year-old.
"That is the only way we can make the team better and I'm glad we have signed two very good players.
"We know all about Mamadou Sakho, he is a very good player. Tiago has also come in from Portugal and is a really good defender as well.
"The competition will be really tough and we need to work extra hard. Nobody will be expecting to play, we'll all have to fight, but I love the competition."
Toure knows he was signed by Rodgers after his release from Manchester City because of the experience he can bring to the team.
He hopes to use that to his advantage as the battle for places heats up.
"I will always bring my experience," Toure told liverpoolfc.com.
The competition will be fair and I will help them (his team-mates) when they need it.
"We work as a team but I will do my best to show the manager I can keep my place," he said.
"I enjoy the responsibility. With the experience I have, I can help them and show them the way."