Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio on Tuesday vowed there would be no repeat of the struggles of last season, saying his side would play better and more stylish football.
Di Canio just kept the Black Cats in the Premier League after replacing Martin O'Neill, although they were only three points and one place from safety after a difficult campaign.
"For sure our plan is to play better football and stay up more comfortably than last year," the firebrand Italian said in Hong Kong, on the eve of the Barclays Asia Trophy clash with Spurs.
"During the season the plan that you make at the beginning of the season can change, but I am sure that we will finish in a more comfortable position this year because the players are good players and are concentrating."
Di Canio, who has revamped his squad, added: "I also need to change the mentality a bit that I found last year. But I can tell you that something has changed a lot and I really think that we will have a very good season."
There was criticism from some Sunderland fans at the more direct style employed by O'Neill, but Di Canio said he hoped that was a thing of the past.
"You saw how we tried to play much more from the back last year. We want to have a clear identity on the field. We will have a clear identity and we play much more football than we played last year," he promised.
A deal however to buy the Argentine defender Gino Peruzzi was off because of fitness concerns, he added.
"At the moment there is no chance for Gino Peruzzi to join us," he said.
"We have to make sure about some situations but my club is not a club that can sign at the moment a player who is injured, even though it's not a crucial injury."