Former Preston striker Brett Ormerod thinks there is a good platform in place for the Lilywhites to build from next season.
Ormerod, who spent three years at Deepdale between 2006 and 2009, saw a lot of PNE during the campaign in his role as a radio pundit.
While disappointed with how they finished the season, he saw lots of positives before that late slide.
“I thought for a large part of the season, Preston were very good,” Ormerod told the Post.
“Things petered out a bit at the end once they knew they couldn’t get a play-off place.
“For the fans, that took the shine off how good a season it had been.
“It is an old cliché but the Championship is a really hard league to play in, it demands a lot of you.
“For long spells, I thought North End coped well and put in some good performances.
“For me, the performance against Arsenal in the FA Cup was the best.
“I did the commentary that evening and I thought they were absolutely fantastic.
“The attacking play was a lot better this season, more goals were scored.
“Aiden McGeady made a big difference and if they could get him back, that would be a real bonus.
“I thought Jordan Hugill did well, I like him as a player.
“He’s a big lad, tough to play against and always puts a good shift in.
“The lad must be doing something right because there was a £2m bid during the season from Ipswich.
“It would not be too long ago that a bid like that would have been enough to snatch him away.
“Callum Robinson did well too, he settled in better as a permanent signing.
“There’s a lot of quality there and he will get better.”
Ormerod believes North End can push on in 2017/18 with the right recruitment.
But he acknowledges that there will be some far bigger budgets.
“Preston are a stable club and run well,” Ormerod said.
“They have got a solid base and the potential to push up the table.
“McGeady was a great piece of business last year and there might be others in a similar position to the one he was in at Everton, thinking they could go to Preston and do a good job.
“What will be hard for North End is that some of the others clubs have so much money to spend.
“Sunderland finished at the bottom of the Premier League but will come down with millions of pounds of parachute money.
“I think they’ve earned more from being relegated than Manchester City did winning the title a few years ago.
“But money doesn’t always get you success as plenty of clubs have proved.”