Michael Chopra admits he is delighted to be back playing again.
The Sunderland striker has recently returned to football after a spell at a sports clinic to help him through some personal problems.
Chopra returned to action on Wednesday evening for Sunderland's second string and he scored the winner in the 2-1 victory.
The former Newcastle and Cardiff star is now hoping he can push on for a first-team place after making his return.
"I am playing with a smile on my face again," he said.
"It's down to me to work hard now and get my place in the team.
"I had a week away trying to sort myself out and I'm pleased the gaffer let me do that. I'm grateful.
"It is showing in my football and I getting to be the player I used to be."
Fulop still wants out
One player who does not want to stay at Sunderland is Hungarian goalkeeper Marton Fulop.
He is third choice behind Craig Gordon and Darren Ward, and has again insisted he wants to leave.
Although he has been pushed up the pecking order in recent weeks due to an illness to Ward, he does not see a future for himself on Wearside.
"I feel sorry for Darren because it is never nice to be injured in any circumstances," said Fulop.
"And his injury has also left me disappointed, because I had a very good Championship club interested in taking me on loan and that cannot now happen until Darren is fit.
"It is very frustrating.
"Since I've been at the club, I don't think I've really had the opportunity I've deserved, to show what I can do.
"I cannot complain though. That is the manager's choice and I have to respect that.
"But I want to be playing first-team football week in, week out, because I lost my first-team place with the Hungarian international side because I wasn't playing for my side.
"Although I have a great respect for the manager and for the football club and especially for the fans, who have been tremendous with me all the time, I feel my future must lie away with the club.
"Craig is doing a great job and could be the number one keeper for years to come and hopefully that's great for him and for Sunderland.
"But for me I feel I have to be playing football."