Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan is confident he has turned a corner in his long-standing battle with a groin injury.
The 30-year-old made just six starts for the Black Cats last season - the first not coming until January - with a problem that he admits still needs to be managed carefully.
But Vaughan is confident he can play a bigger part for manager Paolo di Canio next season, and enjoy more memorable moments such as the stunning strike in the 3-0 win over Newcastle at St James's Park in April.
"It was an issue all season really, and probably last season a bit as well," Vaughan told the Sunderland Echo.
"It's something that I've got to work on and keep paying attention to in the gym.
"Hopefully, though, I've turned a corner and it won't be too much of an issue next season."
Vaughan showed glimpses of his quality in the past season but is aware he will only make a consistent impression on Sunderland supporters with a sustained run in the starting 11.
"I think you reach your best form when you're playing consistently, and that has been something of a struggle for me at times," he admitted.
"Next season though, fingers crossed, I'll be injury-free and be able to make more of a contribution."