Jerome Sinclair hopes it is a case of ‘minor setback, major comeback’.
The forward signed on loan towards the end of the summer and despite being limited in terms of minutes under his belt, he made an instant impression when brought off the bench against Charlton Athletic.
The injury that followed was one of the few downsides of that cathartic afternoon.
Fit again, Sinclair hopes to kickstart his career under Jack Ross.
It is tempting to think of him as a player who has not fulfilled his potential, but it is easy to forget just how young he was when he made his Liverpool debut.
He is still just 22, younger than both George Honeyman and Denver Hume, and only a few months older than Lynden Gooch.
At Watford he has suffered similar issues to those three, the churn of managers and the ever-paralysing threat of Premier League relegation leading to safety first selection.
Sinclair knows the time had come to get regualr football under his belt and has no doubts that, even in the third tier, Sunderland is the perfect place to do it.
“You get to a stage where you have to assess where you’re at,” he said.
“It’s important that I am playing regularly and I haven’t been able to do that over the last few years. To come and get the chance to show what I can do and help the team, and try to help the club back to where it needs to be, can only be a good thing.
“I came here to get as many minutes in as I can hopefully I can do that and to get playing on a regular basis.
“I want to have a positive impact on the team.
“Speaking to the manager was a major part of the decision making to come to this club.
“It is a massive club, a premier league club, to speak with him and to hear how he viewed me fitting in and being a big part of the team is very important.
“For me at my stage of my career I need minutes.
“I am not as young as I would like to be, but I still have a lot of years in the game ahead of me,” he added.
“Watford is agood club, with a good first team. But I was just training all the time, not getting off the bench much, and that was frustrating because I wanted to play more. Obviously you have take the highs with the lows, that’s football. For me I am now looking forward to the future.
“The different managers can come in, they have to try and impress quickly and those players with less experience can sometimes be a disadvantage.
“I spoke to a few players who had played here, Younes Kaboul, Jack Rodwell, they told me a bit about the club.
“Speaking to the manager as well, you could see it is a project where they are looking to start again to get it in the right direction. It was a no brainer.
“As a player you look at the club as a whole. As player you have your own situation in terms of where you fit with the team and the manager, and then you also have to consider the club as a whole, and Jack said he was looked after here so that was in my mind.”
Sinclair may have to wait for his place in the team, with Chris Maguire and Josh Maja starring against Rochdale.
The Watford loanee hopes to get the chance to help Maja improve even further.
“I watch a lot of football before I came in and knew a bit about Maja,” he says.
“Hopefully I can get amongst him and help him get even better. When you come to a new club, there’s new partnership and up top with Maj, you have to try to be effective together and we will be looking to do that. Hopefully we’ll get that opportunity.
“I like to play anywhere in attacking areas, as a player you have to go wherever the manager says.
“It was tough to get injured in that first game but that’s football. Now it is just about getting back into it and feeling sharp. “Football is one of those sports where you know what can happen, you build yourself up all of pre-season and then to get injured first game.
“Hopefully it’s minor setback, major comeback!”