Southampton winger Jason Puncheon is hoping a string of impressive performances in pre-season will secure him a first-team place in the forthcoming campaign.
The 26-year-old has found himself out of favour with Saints boss Nigel Adkins during the past few seasons and has taken in loan spells at Millwall, Blackpool and QPR.
However Puncheon has impressed in the club's friendlies to date, helping his side to three wins from four - including netting the winner against Ligue 1 outfit Evian TG.
"My time here has been up and down," Puncheon said.
"I always knew that coming back last year was a bit difficult because it was the middle of the season and the team were doing well.
"I knew I had to come back in pre-season when I would be on a level pegging with everyone, and that's happening now."
Newly promoted Southampton will have a tough start to life back in the Premier League when they travel to champions Manchester City on 19 August.
Puncheon accepts it could prove to be a make-or-break campaign for both himself and the club.
"This season is very important for everybody at the football club, and for myself," he added.
"It's time to knuckle down. I'm not getting ahead of myself, but I'm feeling good in terms of my body. I'm quite happy with my football and how the team is going.
"I'll just keep going and see where it takes me."