David Meyler hopes he can break into Sunderland's first-team if he proves his fitness during a loan spell at Hull.
The 23-year-old midfielder was recovering from a second cruciate ligament injury when manager Martin O'Neill took charge in December last year, but he still made six appearances in the second-half of the campaign.
Meyler has remained on the fringes of the first-team this season and agreed to join Hull on loan until January 1.
The Irishman made his debut as a substitute in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Cardiff and he believes an impressive spell at the KC Stadium will help him stake his claim for a place in Sunderland's side.
"That's exactly why I've gone to Hull. I'm probably 85-90 per cent fit," he said.
"The next 10 per cent will probably be gained from 9,10, 11 games for Hull and getting as many 90 minutes under my belt as I can, and I'll be looking forward to kicking on then when I get back to Sunderland.
"The manager's been fantastic with me since day one, he's been very supportive.
"When he came in, he wanted me to go out and express myself. I got to play a lot, but then the lads hit such good form.
"It's very hard to break into a winning team and obviously then we went down into a little stage where we didn't play so well.
"We had two or three games and he didn't change too much and the lads turned it around. They were fantastic for the rest of the season."