Sale's Nick Macleod is relishing the responsibility of playing fly-half following Charlie Hodgson's departure.
Director of sport Steve Diamond said in the summer he would not sign a new ten, giving Macleod, 28, his chance.
"That was nice to hear and it gives you confidence, but there is definitely still competition for places," Macleod told BBC Radio Manchester.
"You can never rest on your laurels, you've go to be playing at the top of your game to hold onto your shirt."
Hodgson racked up 1,753 points in 11 years at Sale before opting to join Saracens this summer.
Welshman Macleod said he was disappointed to see Hodgson leave after developing a friendship with the Englishman during three seasons playing alongside each other.
"Charlie is an amazing player to have at any club, so you'll always want him to be on your team," said Macleod.
"I started playing a lot at ten last year when he was injured and moved to fifteen when he came back, so there wasn't really that sort of competition, and the majority of the time we were playing alongside each other."
The former Cardiff back has scored 41 points over the first three games of the season since taking over permanent kicking duties.
He also became Sale's joint record points scorer in a match with the 26 points he scored against Cetransa El Salvador, and admits he is pleased with how he is striking the ball this season.
"Kicking is a funny thing it's a lot like golf that it comes and goes for some reason," Macleod said.
"You think you're doing exactly the same thing but you start missing for some reason.
"But things are going well at the moment, I'm confident with how I'm kicking the ball, so I'm just hoping it continues."