Barry Bannan admits he is facing the fight of his life as he bids to establish himself in Aston Villa’s first team under new boss Paul Lambert.
The 22-year-old joined the club at 14 and enjoyed a meteoric rise through the youth ranks at the Bodymoor Heath academy to the first team.
But since his debut three-and-a-half-years ago Bannan has made a total of just 27 starts and the same again in substitute appearances for the Midlands side.
And Bannan fears he will be shipped out of the club if he does not establish himself as a regular under Lambert.
“It’s probably make or break for me this season if I’m being honest,” said Bannan to the Birmingham Mail.
“It’s a big, big season. I’m 22 now and I’ve got to be playing so hopefully I can have a strong pre-season and show the gaffer what I’m about.
“My aim this season is to be one of the main players in this team. I definitely think there’s a lot more to come from me and I haven’t fulfilled my potential just yet.
“I think I’ve shown it in flashes but not quite enough over a period of time. It’s hard, especially last season as well when we weren’t really winning games. It’s tough for us.
“But hopefully this season with the new gaffer we’ll start winning games and hopefully I can be a big part of that team.”