The thought of leaving Sunderland in search of first team football went through the mind of Seb Larsson during an “extremely frustrating” season.
But the experienced Swedish international is now aiming for a fresh start under David Moyes.
Injuries and selection decisions last year limited Larsson to just five league starts and his agent admitted in April he would have almost certainly left Sunderland if they had been relegated.
After battling back from a medial ligament problem in his knee, Larsson was disappointed he couldn’t force his way into Sam Allardyce’s plans.
“It was more than frustrating, extremely frustrating,” Larsson told the Echo.
“First of all to get my first ever injury and miss three months of the season and then not to really get back into the team.
“I am used to playing and sitting on the sidelines is not what you want to do, so yes it was frustrating.”
When asked whether he thought he’d have to leave to secure first team football, Larsson added: “Those thoughts go through your head when you don’t play, when you feel like you are doing alright.
“You always think you should be starting but there were points last year when I thought I should be playing and I wasn’t.
“Maybe, that was an indication of what the manager thought and those thoughts they do go through your head.
“But at the same time I have always enjoyed my time and have been here a long time and it is a new manager and a new start.
“That is all I am thinking about,” added Larsson, who only has 12-months remaining on his contract.
With Moyes in the hotseat, Larsson is hoping for more game time in a side competing away from the annual relegation troubles.
“He has something like the fourth best win record in the Premier League, of course he is a very respected manager and we are very happy to have him,” said Larsson.
“I am sure he will build something good for us.
“You almost become a bit silly standing here talking about the same thing again as we have done in previous years.
“Lets just try and do it instead of talking. It is about progressing and getting away from what we have been the past few years.
“We have needed these escapes and if you keep putting yourself in that position you won’t continue to escape for ever.
“It is time to move away from that, we have a good manager in place and I really do believe he can be the man to get away from that.”
So far Sunderland have only signed defender Papy Djilobodji but Larsson is confident further signings will soon follow.
He added: “Now we have a new manager in place, a very good manager and hopefully things will kick on and we’ll get some new fresh faces in to lift everyone and move on from there.”
Larsson and captain John O’Shea were given an extended break after Euro 2016, with Larsson making his first appearance in the draw with Montpellier.
He then missed the Borussia Dortmund game but despite rumours he’d been left behind due to transfer talks, assistant manager Paul Bracewell confirmed he was missing through injury.