Clarets boss Sean Dyche is well aware how important recruitment will be in the summer transfer window, as Burnley look to retain their place in the Premier League.
The season only came to an end last Sunday, but thoughts have already turned to the next campaign, and trying to make it three-successive seasons in the top flight.
The club spent an estimated £32m over the season, breaking the club’s transfer record three times to land Steven Defour from Anderlecht for £7.4m, before the summer deadline day capture of Jeff Hendrick from Derby County for a fee in excess of £10m.
The record went again on January 31st as Robbie Brady came in from Norwich City for £13m.
That record is likely to go again, given the way the markert has sky-rocketed with the funds available in the Premier League, and Dyche said: “You’re learning all the time, adapting, looking at the players, ‘what can we do next?’
“‘How can we mould it, stick roughly to what we do but mould it differently and come away from it and add to it...’
“Recruitment is a massive thing, very important – it looks to me like it’s going to be a tough market.
“It was last year, so that’s going to be important.
“And that’s not necessarily to keep replacing people, you want that competitive element all the time.
“You get that from inside your group, but you want those fresh faces and that competition keeps building, and pushes players on.”
Burnley were favourites to be relegated, despite lifting the Championship title, but went on to survive having only been in the bottom three once all season, after the opening weekend.
Promoted Brighton and Hove Albion have been installed as one of the favourites to go down this time, while the play-off winners, be it Huddersfield Town or Reading, will be fancied for the drop.
But despite the Clarets’ performance in the Premier League this time round, winning 10 of their 19 home games, they are again being tipped to struggle.
Dyche smiled: “I don’t know about favourites, but people will think ‘can they keep going?’
“This season they were questioning it every week, and one of the pundits has already written us off for next season, and we hadn’t finished this season!
“Come on lads, give us a break, give us a breather!
“But they’ll look at the business model of the club, see how difficult it is to continue to bring players in, and make it work.
“But that’s the challenge.
“People talk about having money, but it’s trying to spend it.
“Because lot of clubs, guess what, don’t want their players to go anywhere.
“It’s a big challenge.”
Dyche and his staff and players are now enjoying a well-earned break, though for managers, you can’t relax completely, with the potential for deals to be done at any time, even before the transfer window officially opens on July 1st.
Dyche admitted: “It’s a break of sorts – every manager will tell you the phone is always on.
“You maybe park it during the day and check it in the morning and at night, when you’re on holiday, but when you’re here, it’s on all the time.
“It’s just the way it is.
“When you’re not market leaders, you have to try and keep every line of communication open, take every bit of information seriously, even stuff that gets thrown at you from left field, you still have to check it out.
“That’s the next challenge, not just adapting this side to go into next season, but adding to it where we can.”