Kyle Benedictus does not expect to walk straight back into the Raith Rovers team.
And the Stark’s Park skipper reckons that is exactly how it should be.
Benedictus, 29, has missed Rovers last three outings after sustaining a hamstring injury in a hard fought 1-1 draw against Inverness last month.
Tom Lang has shone in his absence and, despite getting a full week’s training under his belt, Benedictus would have no qualms about the former Rangers kid retaining his place.
“I don’t expect to play — I’m not the type of player who expects to walk into the team just because I’m fit,” Benedictus told Courier Sport.
“The boys have been going well at the back and if I don’t play, I’ll be the first to wish them well.
“If I need to come in, then I’ll be ready to play my part, but Tom Lang had to wait for his chance and he has done brilliantly.
“With myself and Ross Matthews back, but having to battle and wait for our chance, just shows the depth and competition we have at the Rovers now.”
Benedictus’ praise for Lang is fulsome.
The powerful centre-half failed to make the grade and Ibrox and was given few chances to shine in a subsequent stint at Dunfermline.
However, he is justifying his early promise at Rovers this term, mirroring the likes of Aaron Connolly and Dario Zanatta.
“A lot of people forget that Tom is still only 24 and you can see that he is going to have a really good time at Rovers,” continued Benedictus. “He is capable of stepping up a level.
“He is a strong, aggressive, athletic boy. He talks on the pitch and I had no qualms about him coming into the side.
“This is the strongest competition at centre-half I’ve ever experienced here.
“That keeps us on our toes and ensures that, whoever plays, they will be sharp and ready to do a job.”
With Rovers just three points off the summit of the Championship and on a nine-game unbeaten run, Benedictus returns to the fold at a mouth-watering moment for the Fifers.
“This league is there for anyone to go and take,” continued Benedictus. “There’s no Hearts in the league this year, and you’ve had Rangers, Hibs, Dundee United and Dundee in previous seasons.
“We know Kilmarnock are favourites — rightly so — but we believe we have as good a chance as anyone in this league.”
Rovers’ trip to Lanarkshire is a repeat of Scottish football’s most remarkable fixture this term, when Rovers blew a 4-0 lead in the space of 25 minutes to draw 4-4 on the opening day of the Championship season.
“People will never forget that game — that’s fair to say,” added Benedictus.
“You’ll probably never see that happen again, but you just need to learn your lessons.
“We’ll be looking to stamp our authority on the game and see the job through this time.”