"We belong here," he said. "We have earned the right to be here and the ones who were here earned the right to get into the division. You still have to earn the right to stay in the division, and if you don't, you will struggle at the bottom.
"You have to earn the right again and again to cherish what you've got or you fall behind."
The Irish midfielder also told the Hull Daily Mail: "I was sad to leave Reading, I had four of the best years of my career there with so many highs and obviously a couple of lows but the highs outweigh the lows.
"But your skill levels and desire levels have to stay high in the Premier League otherwise you get punished. Hopefully, we can keep the standards going."