Sunderland youngster Jack Colback has backed new manager Martin O'Neill to get the best out of his game.
The 22-year-old midfielder came off the bench for the injured Titus Bramble to score his first Premier League goal on Boxing Day, helping the Black Cats to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton.
The strike came on the back of some impressive form from Colback this season and the youngster feels he can only improve under O'Neill, who succeeded Steve Bruce at the beginning of the month.
Colback told the Northern Echo: "We've showed good signs in the last three or four games that we can push on as a club. We've got the players and the manager here to do that.
"Hopefully we can go into the game against Man City (on Sunday) and get something out of it, then look to Wigan (January 3rd) and hopefully win there as well to move up the table.
"It was unfortunate that Steve went, no one wants to see a manager leave, but it did kind of take that relief off (the fans) and maybe that's good for the players.
"The manager's known for getting the best out of players and I'm sure he'll bring my game on."
Colback, who scored five goals during a season-long loan spell at Ipswich two years ago, hopes his debut goal for the Black Cats will be the first of many.
"I can't really remember the goal that well, to be honest, but I was over the moon with it. I intentionally played for the deflection (joking) off Sylvain Distin!" said Colback.
"It's a monkey off my back. I scored a few when I was down at Ipswich. I don't see myself as a defensive midfielder, I see myself as someone who can get in the box and hopefully score a goal.
"I want to score more goals and help the team that way. I got five goals at Ipswich and they came in a little burst, so hopefully a few might be coming my way."