Sunderland defender John Mensah feels the club can go onwards and upwards in the Premier League this season.
The 27-year-old Ghana international, who is back at the Stadium of Light on another loan deal from French giants Lyon, helped the Black Cats to a 13th-placed league finish last term.
And after playing a full 90 minutes for Steve Bruce's team for the first time since joining Sunderland in Saturday's 2-2 league draw with Birmingham, the stopper insists he can already see improvement in the squad.
"I have only been back a few days, but you can tell that some really talented players have been added to the squad," Mensah told the Sunderland Echo.
"And because it was already a young squad, the players who were already here are better for last season's experience in the Premier League.
"I am so happy to be back and be a part of it because I love the idea that the club is going forward the way that it is."
Mensah suffered a niggling back injury last season which limited him to 17 appearances for the Black Cats.
And the defender is hoping to be able to call upon the services of the man who nursed him through the World Cup finals to prevent such problems hindering him on Wearside this season.
"I had a specialist working with me in the World Cup and he was able to make sure that I stayed fit enough to play a big part in the competition," he added.
"We are looking to reach an arrangement where he will still be involved in my health and fitness, though the physio's team at Sunderland will be taking care of me too and I appreciate the work they do with me.
"I was feeling tired towards the end of the [Saturday's] game, but that is only natural because I have played no football really since the end of the World Cup.
"But I'm looking forward to playing more games for Sunderland this season and helping them progress."