John O'Shea admits he will be taking a step into the unknown next season, playing in the Championship for the first time in his career.
But ahead of his maiden second tier campaign - the Black Cats first in a decade - the veteran Republic of Ireland international believes Sunderland's new boss Simon Grayson is definitely saying all the right things, as he looks to guide the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
"We know we have a big job on our hands," said O'Shea to safc.com.
"But now the new manager is in we can be fully focussed on making sure the squad is together and ready to challenge.
"I saw some of the quotes from the manager about the players he wants to bring to the club and that they have to have the right attitude and determination – and that will be essential.
"Playing in the Championship will be a new experience for me but I’ve spoken to the lads in the Irish team and friends from other clubs about the league, so I hope it can be a positive experience for me."
Having been away with his country this summer O'Shea, who penned a new deal with the club, fending off interest from Championship rivals Wolves, has been afforded an extra week off from pre-season training.
He will link up with his teammates and the new manager after the club's trip to Obertraun, Austria.
"I was delighted when I got it all sorted and I’m now looking forward to the season ahead," said O'Shea ahead of his seventh campaign in red and white since his 2011 switch from Manchester United.
"I played into the middle of June so I have an extra week before I’m back in training, but I can’t wait to meet up with the boys when they get back from Austria."