David Healy is hoping Steve Bruce's arrival at Sunderland will bring about a reversal in fortune for him and the club.
The Northern Ireland international joined the Black Cats from Fulham last summer but struggled to make an impression on Wearside.
He found himself restricted to only a handful of first-team outings, while managerial turmoil following the resignation of Roy Keane halfway through the campaign hardly helped his cause.
He managed just three goals in all competitions, while Sunderland only narrowly avoided dropping out of the Premier League.
However, the appointment of Bruce has helped to raise expectations around the North East club and Healy is confident there are brighter times ahead.
He told Sky Sports News: "He's an inspirational manager who hopefully can get the best out of the players we have.
"We don't want another season like last season. Hopefully we've got enough to challenge for a top-10 place maybe.
"I've got a couple of years left on my contract and I feel as if I haven't done myself justice when given limited opportunities, although I still feel I gave something to the cause.
"But hopefully next year with a new manager and a new set of players I can have a little bit of a lift and get off to a good start next season."