Middlesbrough star Adam Johnson admits that he has to make up for lost time.
The 22-year-old has only now become a first-team regular after being forced to play understudy to Stewart Downing.
But following Downing's summer exit to Aston Villa, Johnson has now inherited his place on the left side of Boro's midfield.
And Johnson has shone in the opening games with five goals, but he admits he is two years behind where he should be.
"I have been patient and now I feel like I have to make up for lost time," he said.
"I feel where I am at now I should have been at this stage when I was 20. If feels like a step back in the last couple of years.
"Now I am desperate to make up for lost time. I think I play better knowing that I have responsibility on my shoulders.
"I walk on the pitch now feeling bigger. I have more determination going out there thinking that it should have been like this years ago.
"Every player wants to play in the Premier League. But we are in the Championship and I am playing well and we are high flying.
"It is a tough league but if I can keep performing in the Championship you never know what is around the corner. As long as I am doing well people will recognise you."
Johnson, who is out-of-contract next summer, admits he was growing increasingly frustrated.
"I was blocked by Stewey being here. To be honest I was really sick. I wanted to play every week," he continued.
"I felt I was ready but couldn't get in the team and it was very frustrating for me. Now being in there and scoring is bringing the best out of me.
"There was a lot of banter between me and Stewey about him going. I knew if he moved on it would be a chance for me! He had served his time well here and was a hero.
"Everyone expects me to be the ready made replacement, and I hope to do the business.
"Stewey proved we can come through the academy and get to the top. He went for big money.
"Seeing that happen to one of the lads gives you confidence that you can also come through and maybe get 20 England caps too. If I can do that and push into and around the England squad that would be a big ambition."