The Midlands outfit narrowly escaped relegation to the Championship this season, finishing just three points clear of the drop zone in 17th.
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Clarke's successor Pepe Mel kept West Brom up but departed The Hawthorns earlier this month, and McAuley has called on his team-mates to hit the ground running next term as they look to avoid another relegation scrap.
Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "The boys are talking about coming back for pre-season already.
"They're talking about coming back and putting it right. We need to get off to a good start because last year we didn't have the best of starts and we never really got going.
"We really need to get going in pre-season this year. Since I've come here it's always been about improving on the last season.
"We have to get that right now, get our heads down in pre-season - the lads who are here and any new lads who come in - get ourselves together and make sure we don't have another season like last."