So there is another year as a Villa fan, and although it was not great by any means, it was a good deal better than it has been.

Sixteen wins in the season are more than we have managed for a good many years and we finished a comfortable distance above the drop.

In football nowadays it feels like there is barely time for a respite before the new season starts and because of that, we have to start preparing for next year and have some serious aims in mind.

The first thing I think we need to get right is our summer business. Apart from a few obvious exceptions, there was a lot of poor dealings completed before this season.

Many of those players have already moved on and we can expect a good number to follow. We simplyBruce needs to get Villa up and running from the off. cannot afford to have to change our team half way through the season to save it. It wastes too much money and time. Time is something we really have to make the most of if we are to bid seriously for promotion.

Bruce has hinted at a good deal of movement in the transfer window. If he can do it early and spend wisely then that immediately provides a good platform on which to build.

The second aim, which will sound obvious but is no less important for that, is that Villa gets off to a good start.

Last season, under Di Matteo, we stuttered and that is putting it mildly. We had a real chance to hit the ground running in this new league and we did not take it. We only looked even half sure of ourselves deep into the second half of the season and as is clear that is far too late if we want to go up.

The third must, if we want to see a promotion winning season is a good away form. Our home form was very important for us this year, only losing three at Villa Park. However, we lost thirteen games away from home and it is necessary to improve that. Only winning four is not good enough for promotion hopefuls so that is certainly something that will need to improve next year. I am confident we can do that.

I have not laid out anything overly complicated for Villa or Bruce.

Those three factors are obvious but crucially important if we are to mount a serious challenge.

In recent years we seem to have forgotten how to do the basics. By nailing these aspects of the game, we can prove to everyone that we are back with a bite.

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