Micky Adams has spent a thankless first year as Coventry City manager watching the pennies, while trying to keep pace with the Championship's multi-million pound men.
But last week's reshuf-fling of the chairs at the Ricoh Arena has finally got the Sky Blues boss looking to the future with confidence.
In the long term, Adams is looking to the increased investment in his playing staff that might make new managing director Paul Fletcher's 'Premiership within three years' dream viable.
In the short term, Adams is looking to repeating last season's victory at the Madejski Stadium by stopping runaway Championship leaders Reading tomorrow.
Adams has special memories of Coventry's last visit 11 months ago. After starting his Sky Blues career with four successive defeats, it was at the Madejski where he super-vised his first win.
Coventry came from behind, too, cancelling out Les Ferdinand's first-half strike with two goals in ten second-half minutes from Gary McSheffrey and Stern John.
Although Steve Coppell's men now lord it over the rest of the league, having not lost since the opening day of the season, Adams sees no reason why the Sky Blues cannot taste victory again tomorrow.
"It's as tough a test as they come," said Adams. "But I was praying they'd still be undefeated when we played them, so we had the chance to go and smash their unbeaten record.
"We won there last season, we've got a decent record down there, we're in a decent run of form. So why not us?"
It's the same forthright attitude Adams shows in his determination to match the new Coventry board's plans to re-establish City among the leading clubs in the land. And a first meeting with Fletcher and his sidekick, new financial director Mal Brannigan, has further helped focus on the future.
"I told them my vision of where we should be, they told me theirs and we're not too far away," said Adams.
"There's a freshness about the pair of them, they're enthusiastic about the football club and its future, and they've said that everything is geared towards helping me improve the squad.
"If everything comes off that they've got planned, then it's an exciting time ahead.
"It was quite clear that the club couldn't carry on in the same direction it was going.
"Maybe this club has stagnated too long and we've just accepted the fact we've got no money and can't improve it.
"But just chugging along like that is not right for any club. As soon as you stop having ambition and drive, you've got problems.
"Let's hope it's bottomed out and we can look forward to a brighter future but it's not going to be instant and the fans have to realise that."
Adams was part of something similar when, shortly after he had won promotion to the old Second Division with Fulham in May 1997, he experienced the shock of the club being taken over by Mohamed Al Fayed.
Fayed's plan of reaching the Premiership "within five years", already commenced by Adams, actually took just four, which included his harsh disposal of Adams just four months into office. But Adams is in a positive enough frame of mind, assuming that he is this time given the chance (and the resources) to deliver with City.
"When Mr Fayed took over at Fulham, he had a five-year plan, but they were another league down from where we are now," he said. "Three years is realistic, but they also know and understand that there has to be an investment on the playing side."
With that in mind, Coventry were close last night to tying up the signing of the influential Don Hutchison, currently on loan from Millwall, to the end of the season.
But skipper Stephen Hughes has had an injection in his troublesome calf. Adams hopes it will clear up the problem once and for all, but it definitely keeps the midfielder sidelined at Reading.