Chris Shaw says his mind is firmly set on building a competitive squad for next season as Eastwood Town’s current campaign continues to falter.
A 1-0 loss to Worksop Town last Saturday was the latest defeat in the Badgers’ torrid season, with nine points still separating them from Kendal Town in 20th spot but with the Cumbrian side having five games in hand.
And while player/manager Shaw says his side will never give up on this season, he realises plans for competing at a lower level next year must be made.
He said: “I’ve been prepared for the worst ever since taking the job on and have already started rebuilding the squad accordingly.
“We’ve had to change lots of things in and around the playing side to make sure that if we go down it won’t be the end of the world.
“I’m assured by the owner that we’ll be OK financially, and at the end of the day the reason we had to have such drastic budget cuts was to make sure the club survived at all.
“Even if we do have a great end to the season and somehow survive, we still have to rebuild, but the reality is we need to be ready for Division One South. In some ways I’d prefer the season to end now to be honest!
“But I cannot fault the lads one bit. They’ve kept going and worked so hard, and there are only certain areas that need strengthening now.”
Shaw felt Saturday’s loss to Worksop was harsh on his side who played well throughout.
He said: “We were much better than Worksop physically but they had a bit more about them in the final third.
“I felt the penalty decision was a poor one from the referee and in the end it’s killed us, but it’s one of those things.”
Eastwood will head north to face AFC Fylde on Saturday before hosting a Doodson Sport Cup quarter-final on Tuesday against North Ferriby United.
“We’ll go to Fylde with a strong squad and know what to expect having faced them just last week,” added Shaw.
“The cup tie will be good for us because there’s not as much pressure attached and we’ve done well to get this far.
“The players are giving everything and always go out to win every game. I think we can still pick up a few more points this season and we’ll keep going right to the end.”