Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn insists they can be positive going into next season.
Quinn has acknowledged that despite a disappointing period and a myriad of injuries, there are reasons to be optimistic.
"It's been an up and down sort of season but I think the way it came to a close made us all quietly satisfied," he explained to safc.com. "Our target, even when we reached sixth in January, was always to finish in the top ten so to achieve that, albeit in such a dramatic way, was pleasing.
"Given the fantastic first five or six months we had at the start, it's understandable that there is a shade of wondering what might have been.
"But the excuses for that dip in results since the end of January are fully justified and it's important that we consider the injury situation and how we can alleviate that as we analyse the season and look to continue progressing next year.
"Progress is, of course, what we are constantly striving for - you can't afford to rest on your laurels in the Barclays Premier League so we'll be looking to support the manager over the summer months as we build on the solid platform the owner has given us."