Supporters – and Neil – will be hoping Sunderland are competitive in the second tier next season but there is a lot of work to be done on strengthening the squad, something Neil touched upon in the immediate aftermath of the League One play-off final win over Wycombe Wanderers.
Speaking on May 21, when asked if he would be seeking assurances before committing to the new campaign, Neil told the press: “It was easy for me coming here because I felt that with the squad, I could do the job.
“I walked in the door and it was, 'here's the squad, win games'. I said, 'no problem'. When transfer windows up, when you're going up to a new level, it's very different.
“There's got to be work, investment, different facets that can make you competitive.
“If you're doing a job, you want the tools and I'm no different.
“That's where we're at.”
Sunderland have announced their pre-season schedule ahead of their return to the Championship next month including a headline fixture with Europa League finalists Rangers.
Neil guided the Black Cats to promotion from League One after goals from Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart helped beat Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium last month.
And preparations are already well underway for Neil and his side ahead of their return to the second tier.
The Wearsiders have confirmed seven fixtures in July with one still to be announced.
The squad will return to training on June 22 before playing behind-closed-doors fixtures against Gateshead and Blyth on Saturday, July 2 at the club’s Academy of Light.
Neil’s squad will then head out to Portugal for an eight-day training camp – and two games - in the Algarve where they will face Glasgow giants Rangers on Saturday, July 9 at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira.