Adam Chicksen’s ready to give Stephen Crainey a run for his money and battle for the left-back shirt at Fleetwood Town.
The 23-year-old is on a month-long loan from Championship Brighton and put in a solid shift in Tuesday’s 2-2 home draw with Scunthorpe United.
But with Crainey’s two-match suspension now over, the former MK Dons youngster knows he’s going to have to fight to keep his shirt at Sheffield United on Saturday.
It’s a big occasion and one Chicksen is desperate to be involved in.
“These are the games I thrive on and want to be playing in,” he said.
“To have this game coming along as well as Preston during my time here as well, they are the sort of games I love playing in.”
Crainey and Chicksen will push each other all the way to impress boss Graham Alexander but Chicksen isn’t afraid competition from the experienced defender.
He said: “Competition is what you’re going to have day in, day out.
“You’ve got to keep your levels high to earn your shirt. I’m not afraid to fight.
“I’m a professional footballer. I don’t want to be sitting in the stands or on the bench.
“That’s not the type of person I am. I want to prove what I can do.”
One factor which could play in the younger man’s favour is his quickly-forged partnership with Josh Morris, the pair providing a strong outlet down the left.
And Chicksen believes it’s a pairing which could flourish. “We’ve got a great partnership going,” he said.
“The understanding we’ve got after one game ... it feels like I’ve been playing with him for a while.
“Hopefully we can build on that and really go at teams down this flank.”
Chicksen’s introduction to life at Fleetwood wasn’t the easiest, thrown in at the deep end as they defended for 45 minutes with10 men at the Chesterfield on Saturday following Antoni Sarcevic’s dismissal.
The left-back added: “It was a baptism of fire but you come into it and give everything, which I think the lads did.”
“The performance against Scunthorpe shows the character in the changing room.”
Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with the Iron was an improvement but Chicksen knows Town must be more alert at key moments.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “I thought we were on top for most of the game.
“After we got the goal, it’s just those little bits of concentration to see out the next few minutes.
“That’s when you need to make sure you’re switched on to get the three points.
“But it was a good performance after a bad result.
“We really pushed them.”