Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon believes competition for the keeper's jersey at the Stadium of Light is a positive aspect of his job.
Gordon, 26, has been in and out of the side this season due to the form of Hungarian Marton Fulop and feels the standard is high within the squad.
"There's only one position to fight for and there are five goalkeepers going for it," he told BBC Radio Newcastle.
"It's closer now than it's ever been and we're all waiting to take over."
Sunderland have struggled in the Premier League this season, and currently hover above the relegation zone by just three points of rivals Newcastle despite the investment by the club's management and board.
Gordon, who was a SPL runner-up with Heart of Midlothian in 2005-06, is adamant that adversity will bring the best of the players.
"There's no escaping it, and that's where you see the true character of the players," he said.
"We're better off than three teams below us so we're not in the worst position, we roll our sleeves up and fight for every point possible.
"We've got players in this dressing room that have experience of last year and we're desperate to ensure we get the same outcome this season."
Gordon returned to the Black Cats side for the West Ham United game that Sunderland lost 2-0 on Saturday after impressing Scotland's 2-1 defeat of Iceland in the World Cup qualifiers.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.