Walsall's impressive run of four consecutive wins has afforded manager Paul Merson the luxury of being able to cast one eye over preparations for next season.
Unlike this time last year, when the Saddlers went into their last match fully concentrated on staying in Division One, Merson has started building for next campaign, having offered contracts to a string of players.
Merson, who yesterday signed a rolling contract which will extend his tenure into next season, is particularly keen to retain the quintet he brought in on loan before transferdeadline day. He has called on Craig Pead, Anthony Gerrard, David Perpetuini, Julian Joachim and Andrew Surman to give a speedy answer to his overtures.
"No one has said 'no' which is a start but no one has put pen to paper yet," Merson said. "I need to get it done and dusted otherwise I have got to start looking elsewhere.
"If I wait for six weeks, then they turn round and say 'no', then everybody else has gone. Jeff [Bonser, Walsall's owner] is going away next week so hopefully I can tie a couple up before then.
"I hope they all want to stay and can see that if this team can stay together next season it has a great opportunity of being successful. In the last few matches we have been one of the best teams in the division but you have only got to miss out on one or two and it will impact on the team tenfold."
Last month's good sequence of results ensures 2005-06 will be a campaign in which Walsall start in good spirits, particularly if they can beat Stockport County tomorrow. "I want to win this game as much as I did Rotherham last season, there will be no let-ups," he said in reference to the last match of last year.
"Stockport are relegated so hopefully they will open the game up and have a go and we will see an entertaining game. If we can come back next season having won five on the trot, it can only breed confidence."
Of which Walsall have a surfeit at the moment.