JAMES McClean accepts that he was the least heralded of Sunderland boss Steve Bruce’s 10 summer signings.
But the 22-year-old left winger is determined not to become the forgotten man of the manager’s close-season rebuilding programme.
And he says he is thrilled to have been included in the club’s last two squads – even though he has had to be content with being an unused substitute.
“I’m loving it here at Sunderland but I’m here to play games,” he told the Echo.
“I know that people are saying that with me being so new to the league that I’ll need time to settle in and adjust and I appreciate that.
“But I want to make an impression as soon as I can and that’s why it meant a lot to me to make the last two squads – it must mean I’m doing something right.”
McClean was a £350,000 signing from League of Ireland side Derry City and admits it’s quite a jump from one league to other.
“Back home you can be playing in front of three or four thousands but in the Premier League it’s more like 30-40,000,” he said.
“It’s a massive leap upwards but that’s the challenge I was happy to take on and it’s a challenge I want to meet.”
Full story in tonight’s Echo.