Scott Brown is refusing to take his place in the Celtic midfield for granted, despite his superb recent form for the club.
Brown, 23, has delivered a series of all-action performances in recent matches after being given more license to roam by manager Gordon Strachan.
But he believes the return of Marc Crosas from a three-month injury lay-off in Saturday’s Homecoming Scottish Cup win over Dundee shows Celtic now have an embarrassment of riches in the middle of the park.
"There is a real competition for places now and that’s great for the squad," Brown said. "Nobody is taking their position for granted, because we know that we will lose our place if we let the standards slip.
"Marc is back now and that’s a big boost for the boys. He started the season well and then did his hamstring up at Inverness. That was a blow but he’s fine now and he’ll make a big contribution over the next few months.
"He showed earlier this season that he can be a big player for us. I think we were all impressed by his performances and I’m sure he’ll get better as the season goes on.
"I’ve been given license to roam and I do enjoy it.
"When you have someone like Marc Crosas or Paul Hartley behind you, it’s easier to do that.
"The boys can just sit in a bit more and let me bomb on. They can also chip in with a few goals and I can sit deeper if I need to. I’m really enjoying my football just now and long may it continue."
Meanwhile Celtic coach Neil Lennon has backed goalkeeper Artur Boruc to bounce back from his latest blunder, an air-shot that handed Dundee a shock lead on Saturday.
But he warned the Pole would have to work harder to improve his all-round game.
"I think it’s a concern for him and for us as well," Lennon said.
"We will have to have a look at that and address it. It is probably a concentration thing more than anything but we all make mistakes.