Sunderland striker Michael Chopra felt he had to leave Newcastle to stop 'destroying' his career.
The 24-year-old spent half of his life with his hometown club before deciding to join Cardiff in 2006 after failing to hold-down a regular first-team place at St James' Park.
And Chopra went on to kick-start his career in south Wales, scoring 22 goals in 42 league games to earn a £5million move to Sunderland.
Chopra feels he was never given a fair go on Tyneside and will have the chance to show his former club what they missed out on in Saturday's Wear-Tyne derby.
"I thought I deserved a lot more chances than I got," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"I don't know if that was because of the managers, but I thought going into training, working hard in training, stuff like that, I just thought I was going to get more of an opportunity.
"When the time came and they offered me a new contract, I decided to step away from it and get out of the club before I destroyed my career any more."
Chopra learnt from some big-name strikers at Newcastle and although the arrival of David Healy and Djibril Cisse has increased competition for places at Sunderland, Chopra is confident it will make him a better player.
"I have been fortunate to play with some great players, some top-class internationals - Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Patrick Kluivert, and now I am training with Djibril Cisse and people like that," he added.
"I have no doubt that what the manager is doing with this club, he will be bringing more top international players in.
"You can only learn and you can only get better picking up different things from all these top players."