Cork senior hurling manager Kieran Kingston feels there is a better foundation within the set-up ahead of their Allianz League Division 1 campaign.
Kingston was speaking in the aftermath of the Rebels' Munster SHL final success over Limerick.
And while success in January counts for little when the days get longer, the Cork boss feels that the outlook is better following a 2016 where his side won only two games in both league and championship.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Kingston said: "We set out to use the Munster League for our own purpose in terms of seeing players on our panel and seeing how bad they wanted the jersey.
"I would like to think there is a better foundation now in Cork after revamping our panel of players.
"It's early days but they are doing all we've asked of them. That said, success won't happen overnight, we've got to be patient."
An Alan Cadogan goal deep into injury time saw Cork prevail over the Shannonsiders at the Gaelic Grounds and Kingston was pleased that his troops came out the right side of a tight contest.
"It was pleasing for us to win a tight game and today we won a tight game that looked to have slipped away from us due to few mistakes we made," he revealed.
Looking ahead to upcoming Division 1A series, Kingston added: "The way the league is structured with five games in seven or eight weeks, well it's a huge ask.
"You will get injuries, players away with college teams, but it's the same for everybody. Nobody wants to end up where we were last year - in a relegation play-off.
"For us now it's all about the first game against Clare."
Meanwhile, Limerick boss John Kiely, in his first year in charge, was left to rue a couple of missed chances for his side but overall was content that his side are heading in the right direction.
“We were in a good position coming into injury time,” he told RTÉ Sport.
“We had worked really hard right throughout the game; put a lot of pressure on their ball going into their forwards.
“I thought we defended fantastically well. We probably could have given ourselves a little more breathing space coming into that last five minutes. We missed one or two chances.
“They got the goal at the right time.
“We working really hard, we’ve a long way to go but we’re going into the right direction.
“We’ve introduced an awful lot of young lads, they’ve bought into what’s going on and they’re willing to work hard.
“The team-play is coming along. We’ve come a long way in the last number of weeks and I’m quite happy that we’ve going in the right direction.”
Limerick start their Allianz League Division 1B campaign against Wexford.