Michael Chopra is hopeful he can help Sunderland progress in the Premier League after surviving last season.
Chopra moved to the Stadium of Light last summer in a £5million deal from Cardiff as manager Roy Keane reinforced having won the Championship.
The 24-year-old forward arrived to raised eyebrows after starting his career at Newcastle, but he went on to hit six goals to help the Black Cats avoid relegation.
And having won the respect of Sunderland supporters, Chopra is confident that he and the club can now move on and become an established top flight force.
"Coming to Sunderland last year, with my past at Newcastle, I knew it would be tough for me," Chopra told the Sunderland Echo.
"But the fans and everyone at the club have been great and I think it will be a very different season for us this year."
Keane has brought in Teemu Tainio, Steed Malbranque, Pascal Chimbonda and El-Hadji Diouf this summer and Chopra believes they will all help the cause.
"The players the manager has brought in are fantastic," added Chopra. "They are so comfortable on the ball and that has an impact on the players around them.
"I'm sure we won't be fighting relegation this season because the players we have got are capable of handling situations in the Premier League that perhaps we couldn't last year.
"If we can stay clear of the relegation battle then that would be a step forward and that's how you succeed in this league, one step at a time."