Marc Wilson admits he hopes to play at centre-back this season, but has been offered no assurances over his place by Simon Grayson.
The Irish international joined the Black Cats from Bournemouth on a one-year deal last week, and will go straight into the squad for the game against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
Simon Grayson spoke of the 30-year-old's qualities as a centre-back and defensive midfielder after completing the deal, but Wilson has played a plethora of roles during his many years in the Premier League.
He prefers a role at the heart of the defence but will be ready to step in wherever required over the course of a long and demanding Championship season.
He said: "I would say left-sided centre-back [is my favoured position].
"I have played left back and right-back and centre midfield but I would probably say left-sided centre half.
"Normally I end up playing right-sided but left-sided is probably my favourite position.
"The manager didn't promise anything, he just said there would be a lot of games over the course of the season.
"It is up to me as well, I have to come in and show a good attitude and hopefully force my way into the team and go from there.
"That is my objective."
Wilson will take his place in the 18 on Saturday alongside fellow new signings Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams.
The trio have not featured in senior competitive action this season but the Sunderland boss is confident they are ready to play some part. Grayson is thrilled to finally have added strength in depth and competition for places, with Wilson saying that there have been no assurances about where or when he will play.
"At the end of the day you have to respect the manager's decision. That is how I work. You have to work for your position," he said.
"If you train hard and have the right mentality, obviously there are a lot of games in the Championship and that is another reason why I came - the amount of games.
"Injuries can occur - touch wood they don't - but if I get my chance to play then that is what I want to be doing."