The gap in Sunderland’s fixture list offers the perfect time to make preparations for the summer ahead.
The Black Cats are currently well positioned to challenge for promotion, but being one point outside of the top six with 10 games left means that there’s work still to be done.
Many supporters will have been hoping to sit higher up the table but that just hasn’t looked viable at any point through the season.
Excluding their recent fine run of form, Sunderland have never been able to show the kind of consistency that would make them genuine promotion favourites.
The hope is that next season the club will be looking adapting to life in the Championship, or at the very least, challenging at the top of the third tier.
But who could Sunderland look to sign? We look at two January targets who may be on the Black Cats’ radar again this summer.
He may have been a player that ended up joining Sunderland in January, but he’s certainly made an impression in that time.
The Bristol City defender was a revelation during his five appearances for the Black Cats showing exactly why Phil Parkinson was so keen to bring him to the club.
Unfortunately a season-ending injury brought an end to fine form.
Despite only making a handful of appearances, Sunderland will have seen more than enough of the defender to know that he can play a part for them in whatever division they’re in.
If they can convince him that Wearside is the place to stay then Wright could be an excellent addition – whether on a permanent or a loan deal.
QUIZ: Can you name the player who scored the first Sunderland goal in each of the last 16 seasons?
Another player who ended up joining the club on loan.
Antoine Semenyo has shown glimpses of what he’s about in a Sunderland shirt, but we can all see that there’s plenty more in his locker.
The forward looks a little bit raw this term, but if the Black Cats can tempt him back to Wearside with another loan move then I’d fully expect him to kick on next term and show what he’s really about.
Should Sunderland be in the Championship he may struggle, but in League One he’d have plenty to offer at this stage of his career.
There’s bound to be another overhaul of the squad this summer but the skill and energy that Semenyo brings to the party will surely be something that the Black Cats look to pursue once again.