David Meyler is determined to prove his worth to Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill and become a regular part of their Premier League plans.
The 23-year-old has found himself on the fringes of the first-team fold since O'Neill inherited the managerial reins at the Stadium of Light from Steve Bruce.
He has figured in pre-season, though, allowing him to stake a claim for a starting berth.
Meyler is hoping to make the most of the opportunities afforded to him and convince O'Neill that he is capable of playing a leading role for the Black Cats in 2012/13.
He told the Shields Gazette: "When we came back into pre-season, me and the manager sat down and had a talk about things.
"He said he didn't really know yet what I was capable of and he wanted to find out in pre-season.
"I told him that suited me fine, because all I wanted to do was prove myself to him.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I just want to play for Sunderland and be successful with them.
"That's all I'm thinking about, so to be given the chance to prove myself is great, and I just want to play as much as possible now."