Connor Sammon will pitch himself into battle with aristocrats Spain before launching a bid to return to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old Derby striker will win a seventh senior international cap for the Republic of Ireland in the prestigious friendly clash with Spain at Yankee Stadium in New York on Tuesday night

Sammon said: "I'm ambitious and I want to play against the top players - not just to play against them, but to do well against them.

"Now we have a chance against Spain to go out and play against a top, top team. We will be the massive underdogs, but we go out there with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"People expect us to go out there and be beaten easily by a class Spanish team. But as a group and me personally, I never go into games like that.

"I'm keen to go out there and really make it difficult for them and play to our strengths."

Sammon has appeared as a substitute in each of the three games the Republic have played since the end of his domestic campaign - against England, Georgia and the Faroe Islands - with manager Giovanni Trapattoni testing the depth of his squad.

He said: "I'm delighted that I have been given the opportunity by the manager at international level.

"I'm looking to be part of it, to grow within the team, and a trip like this when you are away for quite a long time gives you the chance to settle in and get to know lads better.

"It's been a great experience for me and I'm hoping to have many more like it."

However, Sammon has ambitions too on the club front, and prime among them is to help bring Premier League football back to Pride Park.

He said: "This season has been brilliant for me, playing regularly. At Derby, the manager has shown a lot of belief in me.

"At Wigan, I felt I learnt a lot, but I was in and out of the team and didn't get a chance to really go and stamp my mark on it there.

"With Derby, the club is very ambitious and wants to get back into the Premier League.

"This season we were close, and I am very excited at the prospect of going back in pre-season and going that step further having a really good season.

"I want to score more goals - like every striker, you always want to get more - so I will be continuing to work as hard as ever to go out and help Derby get promotion.

"That's the ambition, to get back into the Premier League and test ourselves against the best teams."