"footholds" in the noun sense
1. bridgehead, foothold
an area in hostile territory that has been captured and is held awaiting further troops and supplies
"an attempt to secure a bridgehead behind enemy lines"
"the only foothold left for British troops in Europe was Gibraltar"
2. foothold, footing
a place providing support for the foot in standing or climbing
3. beachhead, foothold
an initial accomplishment that opens the way for further developments
"the town became a beachhead in the campaign to ban smoking outdoors"
"they are presently attempting to gain a foothold in the Russian market"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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