Morecambe boss Jim Bentley insists none of his players are guaranteed a starting spot this season.
The Shrimps boss highlighted his point by leaving captain Mark Hughes out of the side in the defeat at AFC Wimbledon as he reverted to 4-3-3 after playing three at the back at Mansfield with Andy Parrish and Ryan Edwards preferred.
It means Bentley has plenty to ponder ahead of Northampton, one of Hughes’ former clubs, visiting the Globe Arena on Saturday.
Bentley said: “It was a very difficult decision (not to play Hughes against Wimbledon).
“I’ve got to be fair to the other lads, in the two league games against Cheltenham and Plymouth Paz and Ryan did well and we only conceded one goal from a set play.
“I’ve got to be true to them. It’s difficult but that’s my job. Hughesy took it in the right manner, he trained well, played well in the reserves the other day (Monday at Tranmere) and scored the winner.
“He’s doing all he can to get back in the team and that’s what we want.
“We want competition for places and no-one’s guaranteed their place.
“If you’re off your game, suspended or injured and someone steps in and takes their chance then I’ve got to be true and honest to the players involved.
“That’s the circumstances with Hughesy at the minute and his attitude has been bob on.
“It’s a nice headache to have.”
On the injury front, Jamie Devitt, hamstring, and Andy Fleming, hip, are both doubts, with the latter looking the more likely to feature against the Cobblers. Alan Goodall has also been struggling. Bentley said: “Jamie Devitt’s struggling, the game might come a couple of days too early for him.
“Flemo’s due to train today (Thursday) so we’ll see how he comes through.
“Alan Goodall has had a problem with the bottom of his foot and we’re hoping he’s going to train today so we’re not too bad.”