Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan feels there are big lessons Brighton & Hove Albion can learn after staying up in the Premier League last season.
The Seagulls appeared to be on course to comfortably stay up at Christmas time but a return of just 11 points from their final 19 league games saw them finish just two points above third-from-bottom Cardiff and the relegation zone.
Reflecting on the season, Australian number one Ryan said: "Ultimately we did what we set out to do.
"At the start of the year we knew it was going to be hard but when we got to the halfway point or around January we would have liked to have made it easier in finishing the job than what we did.
"But that's the nature of the league. Nothing worth having comes easy and you've got to go out and earn everything. That's a big lesson for us all.
"When you think you're there, you're not. We did it the hard way but the most important thing was we found a way to do it.
"I think we rediscovered ourselves in the last few games and got some important points on the road against some top sides.
"But there's lots of things to learn from in order to better ourselves for next season."
Ryan feels Brighton will be better next season after going through difficult periods before staying up and said: "You've got to use them as lessons, analyse them and look at what we can implement moving forward to give us better success and things we need to avoid which put us in these difficult situations.
"That's common sense after going through these experiences.
"You've got to learn in order to work out what works for you and what doesn't and you've got to limit or try not to do the things that don't work."
Ryan is looking forward to a rare summer off with no international commitments before he returns to Albion for pre-season training.
He plans to do some travelling before going back home to Australia and said: "It's the first time in six years where I'm not going to have a game.
"There is a friendly game on for us (Australia) but our coach has spoken to a few of us players and realises it's the only opportunity we're going to have in the next few years to have some time off.
"I'm going away and am looking forward to switching off and recharging the batteries."
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