Steve Bruce is determined to try to slowly change the culture and mindset of Birmingham City in order to reach the much-coveted 'next level.'
It is an ambiguous phrase but one that drives managers to distraction, as they are always aspiring to move their clubs forward amid heightening expectations. Bruce knows there needs to be a seismic shift at St Andrew's in order to succeed.
After two seasons of relative success in the Premiership, Bruce decided to tinker with the blood and thunder ethic that had served Blues so well and acquire players such as Jepser Gronkjaer, Mario Melchiot, Julian Gray, Jermaine Pennant and Jiri Jarosik in order to provide more craft to their undoubted toil.
However, the transition has been problematic and has left Bruce vowing to go back to basics in the short-term in order to stave off any potential relegation dogfight.
But it is the medium to long-term that still concerns Bruce and he remains convinced that his original plan to replace the aggressive, gritty, up-and-at-'em style with a more cultured approach is the correct formula.
However, he says that, after a season and a half of toil, his hardest job is to convince the paying public from the blue half of the city.
"Looking back, we had a team that was desperate to stay in this division, so we bought players to fit that system accordingly," Bruce said.
"Paul Devlin, Robbie Savage and Aliou Cisse are all players who the fans love and associate with, but you have to try to get better, which is the most difficult thing of all to do. That is not a slight against those players and, after finishing tenth in our second year, there were a few people who seemed disappointed last season even though we finished 12th.
"This is the dangerous time as you try to change. I make no excuses for it as, eventually, we are going to have to try to change as a club and try to play a bit more football. Everyone is going to have to try to be a bit more patient.
"I understand the Birmingham fans and I am right behind them. They love the sort of blood, guts and thunder that people like Devlin, Martin Grainger and Geoff Horsfield provide and I can totally relate to that.
"However, that gets you only so far and if you try to replace them with a blood, guts, thunder, young and hungry sort of player you can't get near them as you are talking about the likes of Steven Gerrard.
"Players such as a young Nicky Butt or Paul Scholes. The most difficult part is getting them to come to Birmingham and we tried in the summer with Lee Bowyer and Scott Parker but couldn't get them here." However, Bruce believes he has more than enough talent at his disposal to cope with the current situation.
He also has the options of a fully-fit squad apart from Medhi Nafti (knee) while Stan Lazaridis is unlikely to play after the effects of his gruelling World Cup qualifying play-off tie for Australia against Uruguay.
So Bruce is expecting his big hitters to start turning in performances to match their reputations but, even if they do turn the corner, he is anticipating dipping into the January transfer market to try to spark a galvanising effect.
He said: "Hopefully, there will be a few funds available in January to go and strengthen us a bit more.
"We need someone to make an impact like Jamie Clapham, Matthew Upson, Stephen Clemence and Christophe Dugarry did in the first season. It was immense.
"The impact that Pennant and Pandiani had last season was more proof of how important January can be.
"However, if funds are to be made available, then I know that we can't be marooned at the bottom of the Premier League.
"We have good players at present but that isn't enough, as they have to stand up and be counted.
"We have brought big players to the club; the likes of Nicky Butt, Emile Heskey, Walter Pandiani and Mikael Forssell and we need them to stand up and be counted to get the points we need.
"Mario Melchiot is another one who is back in contention. In many people's eyes last season he was our player of the year along with Emile.
"By his own standards, he hasn't played as well as he did last year because of injuries or whatever. He is now back fit after his tear in a medial knee ligament, so it is his chance."