Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has insisted that strong competition for places at Stamford Bridge this season will not drive him out of the club, declaring that he has trained harder than ever in a bid to prove his worth.
The Spanish playmaker has largely played second fiddle to Oscar since Jose Mourinho returned as Blues boss, but did score his first domestic goal of the season in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Arsenal in the League Cup.
Mata remains adamant that his only focus is on making sure that he is ready to help Chelsea's fight for trophies this season, refusing to pick fault with a reduced role in recent months.
He told The Mirror: "I've been doing what I've done throughout my whole career. I have always been a very positive person and tried to bring the positives from the hardest moments.
"My duty, what I have to do, is try my best in every training session, leave everything of me on the pitch. I've tried to improve, to be more clever, do something before the defender can think of it, to become a better player. That makes me feel good, that hunger to improve in every way.
"But I never thought about my future. The only thing I think about is helping the team, respecting all my team-mates, not being selfish. If there are 24 players, everybody wants to play. If you're not in the team you can't do things that affect the rest of the team because of your behaviour."
The 25-year-old is hoping to keep his place in the Chelsea side as their attention returns to Premier League action this weekend, with Saturday afternoon's early fixture against Newcastle United.