Sale Sharks: Steve Diamond wants no excuses next season
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond says there can be no excuses for a disappointing season next year.
They lost their first seven Premiership games of 2012-13 and looked set for relegation but recovered to finish ahead of London Welsh and Worcester.
"We can't use the excuses of a new stadium, new coach, new players etc as we've got six or seven leaving and six or seven coming in," Diamond said.
"All our decision-making people are staying so we've got a job to do."
He added: "We've had a top-six performance in the second half of the season and a bottom six in the first half so we need to equal that out somehow."
Sale spent the majority of the season bottom of the table and had to contend with off-field disruption with Bryan Redpath removed from the post of director of rugby, John Mitchell's short stint in charge and then Diamond's return from chief executive to become a coach again.
The Sharks moved above London Welsh in March following the Exiles' points deduction for fielding an ineligible player and results improved dramatically after Diamond's return to the coaching staff, including reaching the LV= Cup final.
The former Sale hooker says he has been embarrassed by the club's plight this season but with the work that is going on behind the scenes and new signings, he is hoping to avoid such a poor start next time around.
"We've had a poor season considering what our expectation was and is with a facility like this [Salford City Stadium], the training facilities and the players we have, we thought we should be pushing for the top six," he told BBC Radio Manchester.
"For nine-10ths of the year we've been in a survival scrap and it's been no mean feat.
"We've got to look at how we prepared last year and make sure we're in a better shape for September.
"I think everybody needs to have a break and get to know what we're about here and hopefully push for a better season next year."