James Coppinger has stressed the importance of this summer’s recruitment if Doncaster Rovers have designs on a return to the Championship.
The 34-year-old still harbours hopes of playing in the second tier again with Rovers.
But he says to get back there, boss Paul Dickov must be careful to bring in the right sort of players.
“As you get older you want to be playing at the highest possible level,” said Coppinger.
“For me, I still think I could play in the Championship, along with a lot of the players we’ve got.
“You can talk about it and say it as much as you like though, you’ve got to do it.
“For me next season is a massive season for the club in general and I think recruiting players and bringing players in has to be done carefully.
“Bringing the right players in will determine where we finish next season.”
There is a seed of thought that Rovers were content to consolidate following relegation and a turbulent summer.
However, Coppinger does not entertain the idea of the players settling for a mid-table finish and said Rovers were simply not good enough over the course of the season.
“I think if you set your sights high and your goals high you can achieve anything,” he said.
“Obviously how you play determines where you finish and we basically haven’t been good enough.
“Every professional footballer goes into games wanting to win, and goes into a season wanting to get promoted. You can’t go into a season wanting to finish mid-table. That just doesn’t happen.
“But for certain reasons we haven’t performed this season. We haven’t been consistent enough and we’ll look to address that for next season.”