Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes his first season at Anfield will leave him in good stead for a top-four push in 2013-14.
The Reds head into the final game of the season against QPR knowing they can finish nowhere but seventh place in the Premier League table and, although Rodgers had hoped to get the club into Europe, he says the experience he has gained adds to his confidence for the future.
"This year has provided a great learning curve for me and I look back and see that it was learning that I needed," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
"I knew the expectancy of the club but going into next season, I am a much better prepared manager for that.
"We want to make significant improvements next year in the points total because the reality is we are 30 points behind the leaders and 11 points behind the top four.
"But I've seen enough and if we improve our mentality in the summer - by signing players who have that consistent winning mentality - we can then improve again, like we have done in the second half of the season.
"That's the job of the recruitment team and the club to identify those types of players. They might not always be the best players but what we need in the second year of this project is to find a great level of consistency. There is a process of getting into the top four and becoming champions and that is consistency.
"This club didn't win two league games in a row for over a year. That came earlier on in the season and when you step back and look at that, it is nowhere near good enough if you are going to succeed.
"You build a mentality in your group and you get the types of players who can be on it every single game. I've loved every minute of being here and the small steps of where we want to go. But now I want to make bigger steps."