Glenavon striker Guy Bates is happy to fight for his place despite enjoying a stellar start to the season.
Bates bagged a hat-trick in Monday night’s 4-2 derby win over Portadown – bringing his tally to 14 goals.
That’s two more than he scored all of last season – and we are not even into the month of November.
Bates puts his success down to a rigorous pre-season campaign which saw the striker lose half-a-stone in weight.
And the new agile hit-man is reaping the rewards.
“Gary (Hamilton) brought in a few new faces during the summer, including the likes of Davy Rainey, so I went away and got fit and lost another half-a-stone,” Bates admits.
“I have said that if anyone wants to knock me out of the side then they will have to rip the shirt off my back.
“I love competition for places, and I love playing for Glenavon.”
Glenavon can go top of the Danske Bank Premiership if they can defeat Ballinamallard United by two or more goals at Mourneview Park on Friday night.
Monday’s win against Portadown elevated the Lurgan Blues into second spot in the table.
“The most important thing on Monday was the points. Portadown are a very good team with plenty of attacking threat, so winning 4-2 was fantastic,” Bates added.
“We are learning all the time, and we have a really good platform for the rest of the season.
“We have a good squad here, and if you don’t put the work in then you end up out of the team.