Shane Long will use Reading's relegation nightmare last season to fuel his quest for World Cup glory.
The Royals striker is set to turn out for Republic of Ireland in their opening 2010 qualifier against Georgia on Saturday.
The weekend contest is set to take place in Germany, a neutral venue, due to the ongoing political tension which continues to blight their Eastern European opponents.
Long insists that it is vital Geovanni Trapattoni's men get off to a winning start in Mainz, especially as they face a tricky trip to Montenegro four days later.
He said: "When we looked at these games when the draw was made, we thought these are games we need to win.
"Last year for us [Reading] in the Premier League, we didn't beat the teams around us, and that's why we went down.
"We need to beat the teams around the bottom of the league to have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup."
Asked if four points would be a creditable return, Long replied: "Yes, that would be good.
"But if we could get six points, that's what we are aiming for."
Long may be left kicking his heels on the sidelines this weekend as his Reading team-mate Kevin Doyle and Liverpool's Robbie Keane form Trapattoni's front line.
However, should that be the case, the 21-year-old insists he will be doing all he can to ensure he figures in the manager's plans next time out.
"You need competition to improve yourself as a player, but Kevin is a great player and the club needs him to go back up," Long added.
"He is a very good player who has proved himself in the Premier League, and playing with him is going to improve my game as well.
"It's going to be hard to get in - there is Daryl Murphy and Andy Keogh to think about as well, so there are three of us fighting for that first place on the bench.
"But you need competition and I have got to keep working hard in training to get my place."