Danny Graham hopes a loan return to Middlesbrough will provide the spark required to reignite his career.
The 28-year-old striker is back in familiar surroundings after being allowed to see out the campaign at the Riverside Stadium.
Hull City agreed to cut short a season-long deal with Sunderland, and the Black Cats have sanctioned a second short-term switch.
Graham admits he has endured a testing 12 months since moving to the Stadium of Light, but believes a spell at Boro - the club that helped to launch his career - will get him back on the goal trail and see him prove his worth to Sunderland.
He said in the Hull Daily Mail: "I think it is a chance to kick-start my career. 2013 wasn't great for me.
"All players go through bad spells, I'm not the type of person to get down about that, I always work hard and keep going.
"It's the first challenge for me, back to the Boro where it all started for me, so I'm really excited and looking forward to 2014. I'm taking each game as it comes.
"I've still got two years left at Sunderland after this season. It didn't work out for me in the time I was there, but never say never in football, I could do well at Middlesbrough, and then you never know what might happen at Sunderland."
Graham refuses to buy into the belief that joining Sunderland was a bad career move, having left Swansea City for Wearside in a £5million deal.
He added: "I wouldn't say it was the wrong move. I went there fully committed to do well.
"It didn't work out, I didn't score from February to the end of the season when I was there, so it was tough.
"Paolo Di Canio came in and he said I could go out on loan. I wasn't going to sit around and waste away, I got the chance to go to Hull, that didn't quite work out, but it's happened to me before, even in my younger days.
"I'm not going to get too down about it. I'm back here, I'm hopefully going to be playing a lot more football than I have been, and I can kick-start my career again."