Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn believes it's easier to attract the right signings to the club this summer.
He said: "I think the third year in, people are seeing us as a better option than they did in the first year.
"Then it was 'ooh, we want to see some evidence'.
"The second year, yes, we brought players in and looking back, we may have bought too many and maybe it upset the dressing room a little bit, but we did get some good ones.
"There's some fabulous talent in there and if we can harness it with a couple of steely characters coming in there, it'll give us a chance.
"Our manager gets what we're about, which is the most pleasing thing for me."