I needed to play in the Premier League - David Vaughan
New Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan has said playing top-flight football was his priority following Blackpool's relegation from the Premier League.
The 28-year-old signed a three-year deal on Wearside earlier this month.
He told BBC Newcastle: "It was sad to leave Blackpool, but it was important for me and my career to try and stay in the Premier League."
The Wales international is one of nine new summer additions to manager Steve Bruce's Sunderland squad.
Vaughan had a long route to Premier League football.
Beginning his career as a trainee at Crewe Alexandra, he played for the club for seven and a half seasons in the old first and second divisions.
He then went on to spend half a season in the the Spanish Segunda Division with Real Sociedad.
In the summer of 2008, Vaughan made the move to Blackpool and played two seasons in the Championship before finally stepping up to the Premier League when the Seasiders were promoted at the end of the 2009/10 season.
In his first Premier League campaign, Vaughan was a first-team regular and was named Blackpool's player of the season.
But following their relegation back to the Championship, he felt he had no choice but to leave the club.
"I worked so hard to get to the Premier League, to the top level, so you don't want to just chuck it away easily," he said.
"Hopefully I can play a lot for Sunderland next season but leaving Blackpool on a downer wasn't very nice."
He added that he hopes staying in the Premier League will help him cement his place in Wales' starting line-up: "If I can play on a weekly basis, it will help me play for Wales if I'm in the Premier League every week."