GILES Coke faces a fight to regain his Sheffield Wednesday place.
The midfield player has now served his three-match ban after his sending-off at Tranmere.
But the Owls have hit upon a successful three-man midfield blend of Isaiah Osbourne, Tommy Miller and Liam Palmer.
There is also competition from James O’Connor and Darren Potter in the centre of midfield.
Manager Gary Megson has outlined to Coke the challenge that lies in front of him.
“I’ve spoken to Giles,” said Megson.
“You watch him in training, and when we put running on he’s the fastest; if we do long distance, he can do that.
“He has good strength, and his passing and finishing are good. He’s got to do it when he gets the opportunity on the pitch.
“He’s a good player. He’ll just have to accept that once you get yourself sent off, then somebody else can come in and do a decent job.”
Coke could also be a contender for a place on either flank against Plymouth on Saturday.
On the only occasion so far when Megson has had the opportunity to pick him, the 24-year-old was played on the left side of midfield.
That was at Tranmere, where the former Motherwell man was red-carded for a two-footed tackle as the Owls slid towards a 3-0 defeat.
Daniel Jones came in on the left flank for the next game at Birmimgham.
But for the improved performances against Bournemouth and Carlisle, Megson has fielded the same starting line-up, with Palmer, Osbourne and Miller in the middle and Chris Sedgwick and Gary Teale on the flanks.
Arguably the main beneficiary of the changes made since Coke’s suspension has been Liam Palmer, who was impressive as a sub at Birmimgham and on his full league debut at Bournemouth, but stayed off at half time last Saturday after feeling unwell.
Megson will have to decide whether to stick with the 19-year-old or to ease him back out of the side and look to a more experienced player - for example, Coke - whose best position is in the middle.
Potter was sent on in place of Palmer at Carlisle and staked his own claim for a place after two games on the bench.