FEMI Ilesanmi has insisted that being the only recognised left back on York City's books will not affect his performance levels.
With City boss Nigel Worthington having assembled a "streamlined" squad for the new SkyBet League Two season, Ilesanmi's position in the team is one without direct competition.
Worthington has stressed, however, that left-winger Anthony Straker could be pressed into a defensive role if needed and Ilesanmi does not believe he needs an orthodox rival for his place to prosper.
Highly-rated teenage full-back Jack Connors vied for Ilesanmi's starting spot at previous club Dagenham, eventually replacing his elder rival during the second half of last season.
But City's 23-year-old summer recruit argued: "I am self-motivated so, whether somebody is breathing down my neck or not, I will always put a 100 per cent shift in with everything I do.
"It's up to the gaffer who is in his squad and I will just continue to do what I do on the pitch.
Hopefully, the gaffer will be happy with that and won't want to bring anybody in."
Ilesanmi is the only City player to have been on the pitch for every minute of City's opening three pre-season friendlies and, after seeing his opportunities at Dagenham limited during 2014, he has welcomed game time at a stage of the year when many professionals are hoping to ease themselves back into action.
"I have most definitely benefited from playing all of the first three games," he admitted. "It has pushed me forward and can only make me stronger so, once the season kicks off, I will be able to get through 90 minutes without even thinking about it.
"If I am looking tired in any of the games, maybe the gaffer will notice and take me off but, for now, I am happy to keep playing 90 minutes. It's nice to be playing regularly again to get back in the swing of things, so parts of my game become natural again."
Following a 2-0 home defeat to Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday, Ilesanmi was a member of the City back fours that kept consecutive clean sheets during their Scotland tour with a 4-0 romp at Raith followed by Saturday's 0-0 draw with St Johnstone.
On the latest outing, the ex-QPR trainee said: "First and foremost, on a positive note, it was good to keep a clean sheet. I think the team spirit and togetherness at the club is tremendous and it's only early days, so I think that can only get better.
"We missed a couple of chances that should have been put away but, at least, we are creating chances and, on another day, I guarantee we could have won 3-0 or 4-0."
Despite his old club spending last week in Spain, touring in pre-season has been a new experience for Ilesanmi, who believes he benefited from the week-long trip north of the border.
He added: "The tour did nothing but good for the team, especially for the new players. I now feel closer and more comfortable around my team-mates and I think that's showing on the pitch.
"I didn't really go on tour with Dagenham, although they have just come back from a few days in Torrevieja, so it looks like they waited for me to leave before doing something! But I don't mind that."
Ilesanmi has also been impressed by the noisy travelling army of City fans with 155 making it to St Johnstone after almost half that number made their voices heard at Raith in midweek.
"The fans in Scotland showed that they support the team and want the best for the club," the Southwark-born defender said. "To see them go all that way, especially in the difficult weather conditions over the weekend, was appreciated by me and all the players and staff.
"It did surprise me a little to see so many, but I do remember the great away support when I was at Dagenham."
Ilesanmi is now preparing to face beaten FA Cup finalists Hull City in a 7.30pm kick off tomorrow night when he could be pitted against international wingers Robert Snodgrass, of Scotland, and Egypt's Ahmed Elmohamady.
About that challenge, the ex-Ashford Town full back said: "It's good to play against Premier League sides and it will be a very good test to see how we fare, but we have just got to treat it as another pre-season game to get more fitness out of.
"We can't be fazed by the players they have got or the club they are. We have just got to go out and play our game and do what we do best."
Elsewhere, City's League Two rivals Accrington have made Wigan defender Adam Buxton their first summer signing, while Cheltenham have recruited centre-back Jack Deaman from Eastbourne.
Shrewsbury, meanwhile, have swooped for winger Andy Robinson and midfielder Jordan Clark after their respective releases from Tranmere and Barnsley.