Galway can climb above Bohemians with a win on Friday night
Vinny Faherty admits Galway United have had a "poor" year in the Premier Division and insists work will be have to done over the winter.
Galway United conclude their league campaign with an away game against champions Dundalk and come off the back of a scoreless draw with Longford Town last week.
"We've had a poor year," said Faherty. "It started well but totally petered out. It's got to be a lesson and a learning curve and we've got to improve on it next year.
"We need to start pushing for a European spot, it's where the club needs to go."
Dundalk, of course, wrapped up their third consecutive league title with victory over Bohemians last week and look to continue their unprecedented good form in the Europa League. Without the league to worry about, the champions can concentrate on their next European tie against Zenit on November 3 and the FAI Cup final against Cork City three days later.
Former Lilywhite Faherty says Stephen Kenny's side are the example of where the club needs to go.
"Fair play to Dundalk, they would be exactly the blueprint for what we're trying to follow. They have a great guy in charge, who brings out the best in his players.
"Dundalk's players are incredibly driven, they've a great bunch. I saw it in my time at Oriel Park and it's absolutely no surprise that they've won three in-a-row and they're getting the results they are in Europe.
"We need to start taking baby steps ourselves, Dundalk started their process in 2013 and we need to start ours next year."
Kick-off at Oriel Park on Friday night is at 7.45pm.