John-Joe O'Toole is determined to prove his worth to Colchester's patient fans when the new campaign gets underway, having missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.
The 22-year-old suffered cruciate ligament damage in April 2010 and, thus, was restricted to only 11 appearances for John Ward's side last term.
The former Watford man is, however, on a mission to establish himself once more as a favourite amongst U's fans, and help the Essex outfit push towards a spot in the playoffs.
O'Toole, like many of his teammates, is entering into the final year of his Colchester contract, but this only serves as more motivation for the midfielder to play a starring role from August 6 onwards.
“I suppose I have got a bit of a point to prove this season," he told Daily Gazette. “It’s the last year of my deal but I think it’s the same for everyone. You’ve only got a short career and you have to make the most of it.
“I’m just looking forward to the season starting now and getting the performances under my belt and playing well for the club.
“It was good to be back last year but it was a bit frustrating, at the same time. I wasn’t completely fit and I couldn’t really get through 90 minutes every week.
“I know I’m going to have to compete for my place this season like last year, because we have good players.
“It’s going to be hard but that’s what it’s about – you have to prove your worth and hopefully I can do that and do well.”