Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback does not want to take a backward step in his career this season.
The 21-year-old ended last season by featuring in Steve Bruce's first-team plans for the final eight matches of the season.
But Sunderland have brought in midfield additions in the shape of Craig Gardner, David Vaughan and Seb Larsson to increase competition for places at the Stadium of Light.
Colback has earned praise from Bruce during pre-season, but he also knows that it is a vitally important campaign.
"It's a make-or-break season for me," said the 21-year-old. "I ended [last] season playing and if I'm going to take a step back now, then it's not going to be good enough.
"I definitely want to be involved in games. I'm 21 now - not 17 or 18, where being on the bench would be good experience for me.
"I need to be playing Premier League games now and that is what I intend to do. I just need to keep doing what I was doing before. Hopefully I'll be in the first XI when the season starts now.
"The goal for me has to be to continue what I was doing at the end of last season. It's nice to hear that the manager is giving you praise and I will continue to do what I'm doing, keep my head down and go on from there.
"I just know how quickly it can go wrong."