Sunderland striker Connor Wickham says he can establish himself in the Premier League, if he is given the chance.
The former Ipswich Town forward has made just 12 appearances this season as the club finished 17th in the Premier League.
However, Wickham has backed himself to play a part in Paolo Di Canio’s squad next season and says Sunderland should not be involved in any relegation scraps come the end of next season.
“We shouldn’t be in that (finishing) position with the squad we’ve got,” Wickham told the club’s official website.
“We shouldn’t be anywhere near that position so next season we’ll come back and we all know we’re going to move forward.
“Hopefully we’ll push on as a unit and become a stronger team next season.”
Wickham, who was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday midway through the season, is also hopeful of securing regular first-team football at the Stadium of Light under Di Canio next term.
“I just needed someone to give me the chance – injuries and suspensions have given me the opportunity to show what I can do,” he continued.
“It’s unfortunate we’ve run out of games now but hopefully next season I can try and cement a place again.”
Wickham scored just twice all season, once in Sunderland’s FA Cup tie with Bolton and once for Wednesday in his loan spell.