Newcastle Falcons chief Dean Richards cut a frustrated figure after his side ended their Aviva Premiership campaign with defeat at home to Exeter Chiefs.
The result left the Falcons winless in 16 straight Premiership games, with Richards keen to turn his attention to next term.
“It’s been a very difficult season for us but we have some new players coming in alongside the Tuilagi brothers, and what you will see is a different side to this season,” Richards told the assembled media.
“The way we play next season will also be different, it would be stupid not to use the capabilities of the players we have signed.
“We will play with more punch in the backline as well as up front. We’ve lost a few games this season by just a few points and it’s been a very frustrating season,” he added.
Acknowledging Exeter’s professional display, Richards said: “Exeter controlled the game better than we did and took their chances. They were happy to nail us down and play in the right areas and we didn’t have that capability.”
Taking the positives from an otherwise disappointing season, Richards paid tribute to the youngsters coming through at Kingston Park.
He said: “The likes of George McGuigan, Scott Wilson and Zach Kibirige have all made the step up from Championship rugby this season and each of them have shown that they have what it takes to perform week in week out at this level.
“They have all grown as players and individuals, and they will be much better for this experience ahead of next season.
“We’ve also seen a series of other players coming through at the club, and they have been given their chance to show what they can do in both the LV= Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup – seeing the youngsters coming through has been very encouraging from my point of view.”