Tim Howard insists that he is ready to fight for his spot in the starting lineup if Everton decides to bring in another goalkeeper in January.
Howard was recently called out by the club's head coach, David Moyes, who hinted that he would bring in competition if the American's performances didn't improve, telling the Guardian, "We need competition in all areas and that extends to Tim Howard in goal, absolutely."
Howard, who has been the Toffees' No. 1 goalkeeper since leaving Manchester United for the club in 2006, explained to Goal.com that within any major club there is always competition for starting jobs, and his situation at the Premier League club is nothing unusual.
"It's a pretty provocative comment but that's his [Moyes] normal stuff," Howard told Goal.com on Thursday. "I don't see any problem with that. It's normal. I'd imagine with a club as big as ours, we'd continue to [try to improve]. We need competition in every spot. You have that on every team. No one has an easy path."
Moyes is typically fiery in his expectations of his players and Howard is certainly under his radar. The U.S. international has just two clean sheets while allowing 19 goals in 15 Premier League game this season for Everton, which has drawn eight times so far.
But despite Moyes' recent comments, Howard has had a long, beneficial relationship with the Scottish coach that he hopes to continue. Moyes' contract expires after the season and there is speculation that he could leave if the club doesn't promise more investment. Howard thinks that Moyes is one of the Premier League's elite managers and says it's a priority to re-sign him.
"The club needs him back," Howard explained. "He's the head of this club. He's among the likes of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the top managers in the Premier League and we're fortunate to have him. You need a strong dominant manager in place."
But it may not be all that simple to re-sign Moyes, the American admits.
"We all want to see him back, the chairman wants to see him back without question and the fans wants to see him back," Howard stated. "But again, it's obviously a lot more complicated than that."
While the future of Moyes will remain in constant speculation until he decides to make a decision one way or another, Howard and his teammates are currently focused on Everton's season.
After a strong start that saw the club competing for Champions League spots, the Merseyside club has recently dropped in the EPL table. The club has been winless since the end of September, drawing in seven games and losing two. Howard hopes that the team can look at positive draws against Arsenal and Manchester City an spark to a turnaround in form.
"I think it's [the season] gone well," Howard said. "We're stuck in a period where we're having too many draws but having said that we're in fifth place [as of Sunday, the team sits sixth]."
"So that being said, we're playing well, we just need to turn more draws into wins. Then we'll be where we want to be. Right now, we're OK. We've just got to get some guys healthy again."