Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed that planning for a summer overhaul of his squad has already started.
Pardew was frustrated as the January transfer window passed with just loan signing Luuk de Jong arriving while star midfielder Yohan Cabaye departed in a lucrative move to Paris Saint-Germain.
But as supporters voiced their disapproval and the director of football Joe Kinnear parted company with the club, Pardew set his sights on a significant recruitment drive at the end of the season. He has confirmed that targets were being pursued and business would be done early in the summer window, saying: "Our process has started."
Pardew will be watching Saturday's home game against Crystal Palace from the training ground while he continues to serve his three-game stadium ban for headbutting the Hull player David Meyler.
The remaining few weeks of the campaign could prove to be a watershed for several senior players, with leading scorer Loïc Rémy and fellow forward De Jong only at the club on loan and the likes of Papiss Cissé, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux having failed to impress this season.
It will also be an important time for the younger players, with the club weighing up their options with midfielder Sammy Ameobi while Adam Armstrong, who made his senior debut as a substitute in last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Fulham, and Remie Streete are pushing hard for inclusion.
Pardew said: "It's important because I have to start planning for next year. Is Sammy Ameobi going to be good enough? Is Armstrong going to feature next year, or do I loan him out for a bit more experience?
"I have got Remie Streete, who is doing particularly well in the development group. Is he going to get a game? Does he need to go out on loan? Massadio [Haidara] hasn't had much action. They all need to be answered, those questions, in the next few weeks."