Sunderland midfielder Andy Reid is hoping his Carling Cup heroics will help to pitch him back into Barclays Premier League battle.
The 27-year-old Irishman was handed his first start of the season in Monday night's 4-1 cup victory at Norwich after being a frustrated bystander for much of the three league games which preceded it. However, he took his chance with both hands, scoring a superbly executed double to remind manager Steve Bruce of his undoubted talent.
He said: "I hope so. I feel I played well, scored two goals, so... With the greatest respect to Norwich and the Carling Cup, I don't want to be playing in Carling Cup games, I want to be playing in Premier League games."
Bruce made nine changes for the game, with only full-back George McCartney and striker Kenwyne Jones retained from Saturday's 2-1 win over Blackburn.
The bulk of those rested will return at Stoke on Saturday, but Reid is keeping his fingers crossed that his efforts at Carrow Road have not gone unnoticed.
"You have got to play on the platform you are given and the platform was there last night in the Carling Cup, and I feel I delivered," he added.
Reid arrived at the Stadium of Light in a £4million switch from Charlton in July 2008 as then manager Roy Keane handed another chance to a man whose career had been interrupted by injury.
He was quick to demonstrate his ability and establish himself as a crowd favourite, but struggled to command a place during the second half of last season having already slipped out of the reckoning with Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni.
However, he has worked hard over the summer to get himself back into shape - Bruce revealed on Monday night he has shed nine kilos in weight - and is desperate to make his mark once again with competition in midfield having increased markedly with the arrivals of Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana. He did his cause little harm at Norwich with his two goals, the first an exquisite chip from the edge of the box and the second a comprehensive finish from a flowing team move.
Reid said: "I thought the second one was a fantastic goal, to be honest with you - I thought it was a better goal than my first one. It was a really, really good goal and a good advert for what the team is all about."