Midfielder Jack Colback has said that he is delighted to have retained his place in Sunderland's starting line-up.
The 21-year-old spent the first half of last season on loan at Ipswich but was recalled in January.
He went on to start the final six games of last season and kept his place for last weekend's opener at Liverpool.
Colback told BBC Newcastle: "I was over the moon (to start at Liverpool). I just want to repay the faith that the gaffer's shown in me."
He added: "I thought the way I'd been playing in the [pre-season] friendlies, when I'd played a couple on the left wing, I thought if I was going to play [it would be] maybe out on the left, so when I saw I was playing in central midfield, I was over the moon.
"If I was selected on the left I would have been happy that I was playing. Obviously I'd prefer central midfield, I think I feel more comfortable there and I think I offer the team a bit more from central midfield."
Colback first went on loan to Ipswich in the 2009/10 season, and returned for the first half of the 2010/11 campaign.
He said his time at Portman Road helped him to improve his game.
"Going to Ipswich on loan was a massive point in my career," he said. "I think for every young player that's the best thing they can do, go out and play competitive games.
"Coming back from there I played a few games at the end of the season and playing games just gives you confidence. Hopefully I can keep playing and my confidence will grow."