Eidur Gudjohnsen believes he is now match sharp and ready to kick-start his Stoke career.
The experienced forward joined the Potters on transfer deadline day from French outfit Monaco.
He brought with him plenty of Premier League experience, but was lacking in physical conditioning following a summer of uncertainty regarding his future.
That has forced him to put in extra hours on the training ground in an effort to get back in shape.
He feels he is now ready to make his first start for his new employers, with a Carling Cup clash with Fulham on Tuesday earmarked for a possible full debut.
"I hope to start every time and this could be the perfect game to get more minutes in," said Gudjohnsen, who made his Stoke bow when stepping off the bench against West Ham on Saturday.
"The manager knew my situation exactly when I arrived here. We're easing into it because it's a long season, not a sprint.
"But I would like to think I'm now getting close. Even though Saturday was only 15 minutes on the pitch, it was a high pace."
Gudjohnsen admits he has had to 'knuckle down' since arriving at the Britannia Stadium, with his lack of competitive action over recent years leaving him some way off the Premier League pace.
He said on his gruelling fitness regime: "It's not what I'd want to do every time but it's something I've needed.
"I've had to knuckle down. I came here without a pre-season but now think I'm getting close."
What will be the outcome in the match Stoke vs Fulham?