Sunderland teenager John Egan has set his sights on forcing his way into Martin O'Neill's senior squad on a regular basis.
The defender, 19, is back with the Premier League club after a month-long loan at Crystal Palace where he believes he built some valuable experience.
Republic of Ireland Under 19 international Egan made two starts for Palace in the FA Cup third round at Derby and in the Championship against Blackpool.
The Development Squad centre-back thinks he benefited from going in at the "deep end" and now wants to build on his one inclusion in Sunderland's senior setup this season.
That came in November's trip to Manchester United, when Steve Bruce was still manager, but Egan thinks he is a different man since his time with Palace and wants to impress O'Neill.
Egan told the Sunderland Echo: "I got huge experience there and I think I've come back a better player.
"I really enjoyed it. I played two games and really benefited from those, as well as training with the first team every day.
"They were good to me down there so it was a good experience.
"Now my aim is to kick on and try to impress the manager here and get into his plans."