The 27-year-old scored a fine goal and made another in Tuesday's 2-0 pre-season victory over Philadelphia Union.
And he told the Stoke Sentinel that he intends to be one of the winners in the fight for places on the flanks, which will also involve Jermain Pennant, Matthew Etherington and Brek Shea.
"I've heard a lot of talk about the other wingers at the club," said Kightly. "That's fine, but I want to stake a claim myself and impress the manager too.
"I want to work myself into the first XI and have a good season, I'm at that age now when I don't want to sit on the bench. I want to progress as a player, and I think I can.
"I hear things about the other lads, so my job is to show what I can do as well."
Kightly: I know I can play at this level
Kightly endured a somewhat troubled 2012/13 campaign after arriving from Wolves and he added: "Yes, my confidence took a massive whack last season, and I'm trying to get that back because I know I can play at this level.
"I think it's an issue I had myself with confidence and it's one I need to work on. I believe that, if I am confident, I can do things for the team.
"It's difficult to say where I am confidence-wise at the moment, but scoring a goal, making a goal and having a good game certainly helps.
"On the goal, it was a good ball in from Marc Muniesa, and I heard one of the boys shout 'time'. I watched it all the way and it was nice to see it go in."