When I look back on 2009 there is one thing which will annoy be more than anything — I have spent too much time watching football from the bench.
No player wants to warm the bench every week — at the end of the day I get paid to score goals and that is exactly what I intend to do in 2010.
The start of January means the transfer window opens and, just like the last few, the only question I ever get asked is when I’m leaving my club. The situation is quite simple. At the moment I am a Sunderland player but I do want to play more, and the manager knows that.
The time has come for me to look at other options if I am only going to get 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there at Sunderland.
I don’t know if anything will happen during this window but I certainly have to consider it.
When you train all week, all you want to do is play at the weekend and have something to show for your efforts.
I don’t feel like that at the moment so something will have to change if there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel.
The Premier League is by far the best league in the world, in my opinion, and it has been a privilege to be a part of it for the past few years.
Going to Old Trafford, Anfield, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge is what football is all about. Unfortunately for me, most of my experiences have been as a substitute and it leaves you wanting more.
The top flight is the best place to be and every player wants to experience it but if something happens and I move out of it, then so be it.
I’m not above the Championship or League One. I’ve played there before and enjoyed it.
It’s a no-brainer for me — if it is the best thing for my career to drop out of the Premier League then I will certainly do that.
Hopefully my experiences would stand me in good stead but let's see what January brings.
On the international front, I’m also hoping for a bright New Year.
I started the last game against Serbia on the bench and I understood the reasons why.
But if I can play more games this year and find the net on a regular basis I hope the Northern Ireland fans will see the best of me again. The Euro 2012 qualifiers begin in September and we all know what has to be done.
We’ve blown opportunities to qualify in the last two campaigns but we have to use those experiences to go one better.
Our away record is going to have to improve, especially at the start of the campaign, because losing matches on our travels has cost us dear in the past but with the young guys coming through, it could be an exciting year for us.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year.