DEREK Gaston has revealed that he’s relishing the battle for the number one jersey at Cappielow.

Gaston has to look over his shoulder now after manager Jim Duffy brought in former Kilmarnock, Stranraer and Raith Rovers shot-stopper Conor Brennan at the tail end of last week.

It’s expected that 23-year-old Brennan will provide tough competition to Gaston between the sticks.

However, Ton favourite Gaston, 30, insisted it’s a challenge he’s up for — and vowed that the keeper’s gloves at Cappielow will be his to keep.

He told Tele Sport: “When you’ve got a good goalkeeper there with you, then you have to be on top of your game or before you know it you’ll be sitting on the bench and he’ll be in.

“It’s similar to most positions. If you do your job and play well, then it makes it difficult for the gaffer to change things.

“I spoke to our goalie coach [David Wylie] before the game on Saturday and I said ‘It’s all about trying to keep him out the team’.

“It’s up to me to try to keep playing well and keep Conor sitting on the bench, hopefully! He’s got to work hard as well, keep doing what he’s doing and leave the decision up to the gaffer.”

“Hopefully we’ll both work hard and that’ll help push each other.”

Gaston’s importance to the team was underlined during Saturday’s fine 2-1 win over Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park in the Scottish Cup fourth round.

The keeper produced a miraculous save on the hour mark to block what looked like a goal-bound header from Nicky Clark. The save was all the more important with Dunfermline levelling the match at 1-1 just moments before through Declan McManus.

Gaston produced a string of excellent saves throughout the 90 minutes at East End Park and played a big part in the victory.

He reflected on his weekend wonder save and said: “The ball came in and fortunately I managed to get my hand out and claw it out from underneath the crossbar.

“Obviously the ball broke down next to me and it was pinball for a couple of seconds but it was an important save at an important time in the game.

“I made a few good saves and obviously that one was the pick of the bunch but I feel I should have done better with the Dunfermline goal.

“But to make a good save pretty much straight after that helps build your confidence back up again for the rest of the game.

“You beat yourself up a bit when you concede a soft goal but the save from Nicky [Clark] was pleasing, definitely.

“It’s good to have a good performance and hopefully I can keep my place this week.

“I’ll just take every week as it comes and try and play as well as I can and leave the decision up to the gaffer.

“But it wouldn’t have mattered if we’d played poorly and if it turned out to be a 1-0 win, or a 5-4 win. It’s just all about getting through.

“When it comes to the cup games it’s all about progressing. Playing well was a bonus and now we’re in the next round.”