Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis is adamant that staying in the Premier League is their number one priority again this season.
He is also determined to avoid the summer transfer deadline day chaos witnessed at Palace last year under Ian Holloway.
The Eagles suffered a setback on Saturday ahead of the new campaign, when goals from Glenn Murray and Marouane Chamakh could not prevent a 3-2 defeat at Championship new-comers Brentford.
The result was Palace’s first defeat of pre-season, following two wins and a draw in their successful American tour and a 13-1 demolition of Austria’s GAK Graz.
A second Palace side were in action on Saturday at Forest Green Rovers, and it was a debut to remember for Fraizer Campbell who banged in a hat-trick in a 3-0 win.
The win also marked a debut for Brede Hangeland, after his transfer last week (see right).
But Pulis is under no illusions about his side’s ambitions for the season.
“We want to stay in the Premiership. That would be brilliant,” he said.
“In terms of new signings we’ll see what happens, but the transfer window does not close until the end of the month, not when the season starts.
“So there’s still plenty of time for arrivals. One thing is for sure, we won’t be signing 14 players again on the last day of the window like we did last season.”
Meanwhile, Eagles winger Jason Puncheon praised Pulis for creating high morale in the camp following the American tour, and welcomed any new signings to Selhurst Park.
“Team spirit’s been great again during pre-season, and I think that’s down to the gaffer,” he said.
“But whoever comes in has to adapt to our group. It’s largely the same as we had last year and we’ve got to keep that spirit up.
“It’s a team game and we need everyone collectively to secure that Premier League spot next season.
“I’d absolutely take 11th place again, we’d take 16th to be honest. We just want to stay in the Premier League.
“We take it one step as it comes and obviously the first step is the Arsenal game, so we’ll go from there.”
Palace depart for Germany on Friday ahead of their final pre-season game with Bundesliga outfit Augsburg.
The Bavarian side are sure to provide a stern test for the Eagles a week before their Premier League opener with Arsenal, having finished last season in eighth place and just one point off European football.
One man, one wish: Let's make sure we stay in the Premier League, says Jason Puncheon