MICHAEL Darragh Macauley says he faces "a battle to get my place back" in the Dublin starting 15 for their Leinster semi-final against Kildare in two Sundays time.
The 2013 Footballer of the Year yesterday announced himself to be "in as good knick as I've ever been," but accepted his spot in the current midfield pecking order on the basis of a frustrating spring.
By his own admission, Macauley "had a very difficult League campaign," beset by a number of niggling injuries and thus failing to put together a run of appearances or form.
In light of the form shown by Denis Bastick and Brian Fention in Dublin's midfield, Macauley says he expected to start against Longford from the bench - but didn't much like it either.
"Yeah, I've always been very competitive by nature. I always want to be starting but I don't think I had too much argument.
"The two lads have been playing super and deserve their spots in midfield so it's going to be a battle to get my place back."