Paul Farbrace says Keaton Jennings must score runs to survive in the "harsh world" of Test cricket, as England's assistant coach pointedly welcomed Hameed Haseeb's involvement with the squad at Old Trafford this week.
The sight of Hameed in the nets with batting coach Mark Ramprakash, and speaking to captain Joe Root in the dressing room, will have done little to calm the nerves of Jennings, who has struggled to convince at the top of the order and was out for 17 on day one of the fourth Test against South Africa.
Hameed looked more at home opening in India last year before a broken finger ruled him out of the tour, but he has since struggled for form at county level.
England used the opportunity of a visit to Manchester to link up with the promising youngster though, while Farbrace had an uncompromising message for Jennings as England reached stumps at 260-6 on Friday.
Asked what the Durham left-hander must do to retain his tenuous grip on a place in the team, Farbrace replied: "Score runs. That's the bottom line. Test cricket is a harsh world to come into.
"You would expect every player to have guts and determination. He's found out a lot about himself.
"We judge him on his character and personality.
"He's a very honest young man who works very hard at his game.
"Given the chance, I think he will make a success of himself in international cricket. You want to stick with them and give them every opportunity."
Farbrace made no apologies to Jennings about the very public presence of rival Hameed.
"Ramps [Ramprakash] has made good contact with him," he said.
"[It was] another opportunity to keep him in the fold, he's very much part of the future of the England cricket team, we want him to score runs and push for contention to get back into the team.
"If you're in the England team there should always be someone pushing for your place. The players all watch county cricket, they talk about scores, they know who's out there. You want them to be a part of it. If it puts pressure on, all well and good."
Duanne Olivier, a former South Africa team-mate of Johannesburg-born Jennings at junior level, was a surprise inclusion in the Proteas' team following injuries to Vernon Philander and Chris Morris.
The newcomer claimed the scalp of his old friend and that of England captain Joe Root during an inconsistent showing, at one point giving up 13 runs in a single over to prompt stern words from captain Faf du Plessis.
"I know what I needed to do," Olivier said of his dressing down and subsequent recall to the attack.
"Coming back that first over, it was not going to plan, I was putting a lot of pressure on the team. He [Du Plessis] just told me, 'Back your skills, you know what you need to do, just get the basics right'.
"He [Root] plays really attacking, he walked across [the delivery]. I was trying to bowl a bit straighter lines. That one was a bit fuller. I was happy about it."