It’s okay. You’ve made it.

You’ve survived the summer with a diet of nothing more than athletics cycling and cricket and are now chomping at the bit for something a bit more to your taste.

Football is back.

August is a paradox to the football fan, as not only does it herald the return of the sport in which so much is emotionally invested, it also marks the time when you’ve finally got used to having free weekends only to give them up again.

The only hurdle left to overcome is managing expectations, in an attempt to soften the blow when reality finally comes looking for you and crushes your dreams underfoot, like a toddler stamping on something expensive and delicate.

Ambition is high at and pockets seemingly deep for Saints at the moment, which can also spell disaster when it comes to knowing what to expect.

Luckily, the spending has so far been done in a targeted manner, rather than a blunderbuss approach of buying in a whole new team and expecting them to become world beaters overnight.

First of all, the acquisition of Victor Wanyama seems a good – if expensive – one. Celtic fans raved about him for good reason, and not just for his man-of-the-match performance against Barcelona for the Bhoys.

Strong, powerful and seemingly happy to run for hours, Wanyama looks like the perfect model player for the style of play Mauricio Pochettino likes to employ.

Jack Cork looks like the man most likely to miss out as a result – a harsh treatment for one of the standout players of last term. Indeed, Saints recovery after the disastrous start to 2012/13 coincided exactly with Cork’s return from injury.

Perhaps it is foolish to expect the £12.5m signing to automatically command a place ahead of the former Chelsea man – after all, it’s been Cork’s shirt for two seasons and it is unlikely he’ll give it up easily.

The extra competition for Schneiderlin and Cork though can only benefit the team overall – this is where the ‘staying the same is stagnation’ cliché comes in nice and handy.

Dejan Lovren is the other new signing. Being a Croatian international suggests he has pedigree, but it’s unlikely many Saints fans will have seen him in a plethora of competitive matches, so it’s hard to pass judgement on his signing.

However, central defence was certainly an understaffed department last season, so the addition of an international from such a strong footballing nation certainly looks like a good piece of business.

Sadly, that’s where the new signings stop – the team still looks like it needs another striker, as beyond Lambert and Rodriguez there doesn’t seem to be much depth, even if Emmanuel Mayuka suddenly shows us why The Guardian named him the 85th best player in the world.

Big money bids from Southampton for Pablo Osvaldo and Leandre Damiao – both coveted by teams with Champions League ambitions – seem to have fallen short thus far, although a big pay cheque can work wonders when it comes to persuading footballers. Whether or not that’s the route Saints should be going down is another debate altogether.

The difficulty in judging the value of bids and signings comes in the inflation caused by the new TV deal which has skewed transfer fees and wages somewhat.

So far, Saints have spent over £20m; a huge amount of cash and one many would think suggests lofty ambitions, until you realise Norwich City have spent even more. Do many expect them to be pushing for Europe?

Unlike Norwich though, Saints have made a couple of big signings rather than going for smaller fees spread out across the squad, suggesting that there is a lot of faith in the potential shown by the players already at the club and what they can achieve.

Overall, I would have to say I’m confident but grounded when it comes to Saints’ chances in 2013/14 - you may describe that in other terms, if you think appropriate.

A top half finish certainly looks do-able, but the middle of the Premier League looks like a congested place this season, so it’s easy to imagine a single win being the difference between 8th and 11th, for example, which is the zone I imagine the team will finish - firmly midtable.

If I had to put a number on it, I'd go tenth.

So if the squad seems good enough to easily stay in the division without being quite good enough to challenge the upper-echelons, surely the route to go is to target a cup?

Swansea and Wigan enjoyed cup success last season and we all know how much we enjoyed the JPT and 2003 FA Cup run let alone 1976, if you were lucky enough to be part of it.

The Premier League may be the most important thing, but most fans would surely prefer to look back at a Cup Final over an 8th place finish.

The team looks strong enough, so whatever the targets set behind the doors at Staplewood, the signs are good for fans this season – let’s just hope the optimism doesn’t turn to heartbreak, as it so often does in football.