Defender Tom Lees has called on Sheffield Wednesday to buck a three-year trend as they bid to return to the top half of the Championship table.
The Owls endured a frustrating season last term, eventually finishing 15th after an injury pile-up had left them at one stage flirting with the relegation places.
For the third successive year, Wednesday were slow out of the blocks, and Lees says that must change if the club are to be in play-off contention in 2018/19.
"I think it's important you get off to a good start," the 27-year-old said. "We haven't done in previous campaigns recently."
Last season, the Owls won only won league match in the opening month and it was a similar story a year earlier.
It was even worse in 2015/16 when they managed just a single victory in their first seven Championship games.
Jos Luhukay's side, who have been back in training for more than a fortnight and kick off their pre-season friendlies at Lincoln City on Friday night, face a trip to newly-promoted Wigan Athletic on August 4 opening day.
"I know it's probably the biggest cliche, but every game is tough," Lees said. "The next few weeks will be about getting ready for that first week."