Adam Bartlett is not taking his Hartlepool United place for granted.
The 30-year-old looked set for a long run between the sticks at Pools after number one Trevor Carson was ruled out for the rest of the season following surgery on a shoulder problem.
He’s 21, he’s not a kid, he’s going to be pushing me to play games.
However, new boss Dave Jones has brought in young keeper Joe Fryer on a half-season-loan from Middlesbrough, where he had been playing for the club’s U23 side.
Jones wanted competition for the Geordie and Bartlett says he can feel the 21-year-old breathing down his neck ahead of the League Two match with Yeovil Town at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
“We’ve only trained a few times but Joe’s done well and looks good,” said the 30-year-old.
“He’s a big boy, he’s in good shape, he ticks the boxes for pretty much everything I’ve seen so far.
“He’s 21, he’s not a kid, he’s going to be pushing me to play games.
“I’ve done myself no favours last Saturday.”
Bartlett was referring to his performance in the 3-1 defeat at Newport, where Pools came off the rails badly after a 2-0 victory over Stevenage the previous weekend.
To be fair to the former Newcastle, Gateshead and Hereford stopper, he was not alone – the whole team struggled.
Bartlett would love a long run in the side – there are 18 games left of the programme.
“Hopefully, but I can’t be too sure after the weekend,” he said. “I didn’t do myself any favours.
“Obviously if I get the nod [for Yeovil] I’ll do my best to put on an improved performance and try to keep a clean sheet.”
Bartlett played the opening 15 matches of last season after being brought into the club by then boss Ronnie Moore in the summer of 2015.
He produced some outstanding saves but was then forced to play second fiddle to Carson, who completed his debut season at the Vic with three player of the season awards.
Bartlett has played 12 times this season in all competitions, collecting two clean sheets.