Rising star Seamus Coleman feels he is still fighting for his Everton place despite being poised to win a first international cap this week.
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is set to reward the 22-year-old, at home on the wing or at full-back, for his blistering club form with an appearance in Wednesday's friendly against Norway.
Coleman has been one of Everton's standout performers during the opening three months of the season and was again impressive in yesterday's 2-1 Barclays Premier League loss to Arsenal.
‘I don't know if I am established,’ said Donegal-born Coleman. ‘I am still learning every game.
‘I know I am not guaranteed my place every week so I am going out there and trying my best. It is going all right for me so far.’
Everton boss David Moyes views Coleman primarily as a full-back but it is in a more advanced role on the right flank that he has caught the eye this term.
Coleman made seven successive starts, culminating in a goalscoring appearance against Blackpool last week, before surprisingly being left out for last Wednesday's clash against Bolton.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was preferred but Coleman replaced the Russian in the second half of that 1-1 draw and kept his place for the visit of the Gunners.
He now hopes he has done enough to be given a chance by Trapattoni.
An injury to Hull's Paul McShane means the opportunity could come in defence but Coleman is happy to fill any position.
He said: ‘A lot of people are saying it and I hope to win my first cap Wednesday night. That would be great for me.
‘I think I read somewhere the manager, Mr Trapattoni, saying he sees me as a defender. I'll see what happens.
‘I probably see myself as a full-back but if the manager wants me to play left midfield I will play left midfield. I will play anywhere I can get a game.
‘I am learning the roles so it is always good to have a couple of positions.’
Despite Coleman's best efforts against the Gunners, which included creating a glorious chance which Tim Cahill headed over, Everton could not extend their seven-match unbeaten sequence.
Goals from Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas proved decisive for the Londoners, who moved up to second as a result of their victory.
Cahill did eventually get on the scoresheet in the final minute as Everton were deservedly rewarded for a late rally, but it was not enough. Jack Rodwell also put a good chance over while Lukasz Fabianski produced fine saves to deny Jermaine Beckford, Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha.
Coleman said: ‘If we'd have got one earlier we'd have had more time to put a bit of pressure on them and hopefully sneak one, but it just wasn't to be.
‘I think we were just unfortunate at the end we didn't get something.
‘But everyone's going away now for a week for the internationals.
‘Everyone will come back looking to the Sunderland game and looking for three points.’
Arsenal could have made victory more convincing had Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh taken fine opportunities before Everton finished in the ascendancy.
But their win was another notable one for the team already boasting the best away record in the competition and, with Chelsea losing yesterday, their title bid is alive.
Sagna, Arsenal's first goalscorer yesterday, believes this season's improved away form could be crucial.
The Frenchman said: ‘We know if we want to be successful and competitive, we want to take maximum points away.
‘That's what we have missed over the past few years but we know we can win games now, even against big opponents. So we just need to play game after game and give the maximum.’
Arsenal are now just two points behind champions Chelsea and could go top - albeit possibly only briefly - by defeating rivals Tottenham in next weekend's north London derby.
Sagna, whose strike was only his second in 147 games for the club, said: ‘The title race is very tight - we are very close to the top of the league and not far from the opponents.
‘But we need to think about our team and not about the others, play our game and we will see the points total at the end.’