Matty Dolan sees every City game now as an audition which could earn him a leading role next season.
With so many of the current squad out of contract in the summer, a period of change looks on the cards at Valley Parade.
Some of the familiar faces from recent years are likely to move on and be replaced by younger, hungry hopefuls.
Dolan is keen to be part of that new breed when his current loan deal turns into a permanent one.
The left-footed central midfielder has given City good balance in the last two games when he has deputised for Gary Jones.
And given the chance, he intends to reveal more of that potential in the remaining weeks before he becomes a full-time employee.
Dolan said: “I want to enjoy my run-in to the end of the season and hopefully play plenty of football.
“My aim is to try and keep my place, get a couple of goals and create a bit of excitement.
“I want to show everyone what I can do and come back next season fit and strong. It will be good.”
The Middlesbrough youngster never cracked it with his hometown club but enjoyed good loan spells with Yeovil and Hartlepool. Now he is delighted to find a proper base.
“I don’t want to massively go into things at Middlesbrough. I got promoted with Yeovil last year, went out and played (at Hartlepool) this season.
“Obviously it’s frustrating not to be given your chance but what better place to put some roots down than in front of 13,000 fans every week?
“That’s my objective as a young footballer coming through in the game. The most important thing is getting your name out there and building up experience and this is a great platform for me.
“I’ve spoken to the gaffer and the only way for this club is forward from now on. I want to play a key part in doing that.”
Phil Parkinson wanted to sign Dolan full-time on transfer deadline day in January but Boro dug their heels in and City had to opt for a loan in the first place.
But the 21-year-old was promised that he would get that permanent contract once his current one expires in June.
He added: “We’d wanted to get it done initially but the gaffer’s been supportive of me right through. It’s nice to know that somebody has taken an interest like that.
“If you believe in your own ability, you don’t really worry about contracts but it’s always good to have that security there.”
League One security remains the priority for now as City look to mop up the points needed to ensure they will avoid a late scramble.
Dolan said: “I’m fairly new to this but you’d think another six points would do it. Another couple of wins and we’ve got nothing to worry about.
“Some people aren’t sure of the difference between League Two and League One but it is such a step up.
“I played 25 games in League Two for the first half of the season and then to come here was a big difference. There’s no denying that.
“But we can use the experience we’ve gained to push on.
“It’s about getting building blocks in place for a big season next year.”