Louis Saha has admitted that the good form of Steven Fletcher is a major factor in his inability to claim a place in the Sunderland starting line-up.
Saha arrived at the Stadium of Light on a free transfer in the summer, but has yet to feature from the start in a Premier League match. Fletcher - a £12 million August signing himself - has scored five of Sunderland's six goals so far, and has quickly become a fans favourite.
"The manager is more intelligent than me to decide [on the line-up]," Saha told BBC Newcastle.
"I'm not really in a position to ask for anything to be honest; Fletcher is doing really well and it's only a matter of time before the team around him clicks."
With Fletcher's team-mates struggling to match his performance level as yet, sections of the crowd are calling for Saha to be partnered up front with the Scotland man.
"Steven's a very smart player so I think there's no difficulty in us linking up," the 33-year-old continued.
"It's nice to hear [the fans want me to play], but I'm getting there fitness wise as I was behind most of the other players, and I feel ready now.
"I want to get more minutes and I need to help the team make progress so I'm just trying to do my thing when I get the opportunity."