Sam Allardyce has suggested that their summer recruitment will be the factor that Sunderland will need to get right if they hope to avoid another relegation scrap next season, the Shields Gazette reports.
The Black Cats managed to confirm their safety on their penultimate day of the season for the third successive year after thrashing Everton 3-0 to confirm that Newcastle and Norwich would be joining Aston Villa in the Championship next term.
But after watching several other managers enjoy the jubilation of keeping the side up one year only to find themselves back in trouble the following campaign, Allardyce has insisted that doing smart business during the transfer window is the key thing that the club needs to focus on.
"Only this year’s recruitment will put firefighting to one side," he told the Shields Gazette.
"We have been in this position before, many times over the past three seasons, that is what has to happen this time around to stop [that cycle].
"It happens when we all sit round and start the discussions.
"How are we going to get where we want to go?"
While their business in previous windows may make Sunderland supporters worry about what will happen in the coming months, their most recent window saw them make several signings that inspired their survival push.
The likes of Jan Kirchhoff, Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone were instrumental in guiding the side away from trouble. While the trio have all made notable contributions since they arrived at the Stadium of Light, Khazri's stunning strike against Chelsea was a huge moment in their campaign while Kone's brace against Everton helped confirm that they would be playing at the highest level next season.
And a similarly successful window once again this summer would surely ensure that their survival is confirmed a lot sooner next year.