Preston boss Simon Grayson believes the club is well positioned for a more successful campaign next season.
The Lilywhites have lost just one of their six matches since the former Leeds manager took charge and he says the foundations are in place for a positive 2013-14.
"I still know there's work to do to make us a force this time next year," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
"The endeavour and the application is there. We just want to bring it all together to give us a foundation for a successful season next year."
North End were in and amongst the top six for much of the first half of the season but soon fell away before Grayson replaced Graham Westley back in February.
Winger Lee Holmes is equally optimistic about their promotion chances next season under a manager that has won promotion from the third tier with all three of his previous clubs - Blackpool in 2007, Leeds in 2010 and Huddersfield in 2012.
"We have to think like that," Holmes said. "In the last month, we've played some good teams who are at the top of their game and near the top of the league.
"I think we've either matched them or been better than them. That bodes well going forward.
"There's a lot that we've got to learn and be better at, but it's a good starting block for us."