Hull City manager Phil Brown is already eyeing the January transfer window as a period which could be crucial to the Tigers' aspirations for the coming season.
The Tigers travelled out to China this week to take part in the Barclays Asia Trophy without any new players, although Brown is confident of concluding some deals upon his return to England. And while the former Derby manager acknowledged signings this summer are important, he claimed deals concluded in January could prove even more pivotal.
"The lesson I learned from the majority of last season was to improve in January in terms of the transfer window," said Brown.
"We only brought maybe one or two in the January transfer window last season. One of the main deals we were trying to get on table was Jimmy Bullard and obviously it is well documented that he picked up an injury in his first game.
"If we get ourselves in a similar situation hopefully with a good start next season then obviously the transfer window doesn't need to be considered more seriously, but it certainly needs to be targeted to enable the second half of the season to be as successful and to give these guys a chance.
"In terms of the numbers of the squad last season, it was critical towards the end that we were using the full squad as opposed to using the same 12 to 15 players and consequently that took its toll on us at the end of the season."
After only escaping relegation to the Championship on the final day of last season, Brown is refusing to set any targets other than survival in the coming campaign.
"The powers that be turned against us to a certain extent last season however there were three teams that were worse off than us," he added.
"So long as we improve on last season that is the main aim this year. That leaves it wide open from 16th first."
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