Kieran Richardson believes Sunderland have the potential to become as big as Manchester United.
The former Red Devils winger swapped the trophy-laden corridors of Old Trafford last summer for regular first-team football at The Stadium of Light.
However, the England international does not think he has downsized his career by joining Roy Keane's men as he believes the North East club have everything required to become a Premier League giant.
Richardson knows that if Keane's Black Cats can stay up this year the structure is there for the club to move onto the next level.
"I honestly don't think I've taken a step down by moving here," he told the Daily Star.
Just as big
"Going into work every day, Sunderland feels every bit as big as United in so many ways.
"Don't get me wrong, United are arguably the biggest club in the world and I enjoyed every minute of my time there.
"But I don't think people realise just how big it is at Sunderland or, more importantly, how much bigger it could become.
"This club is very ambitious - like I am. And, of course, the manager has never settled for second-best in his life.
"Unfortunately, it has had a reputation as a yo-yo club over the years and that's what everyone here is trying to change.
"That's why staying up this season is so crucial because, if we can do that, the potential, the resources and the ambition are there to move on to the next level."