Ritchie Jeune believes the Kettering Town supporters will be right to have high expectations for next season.
The Poppies’ Calor League Division One Central campaign ended in heartbreak on Monday as they surrendered a 2-0 half-time lead to lose 3-2 to Slough Town in the play-off final in front of over 2,300 fans.
It was a devastating finish to a remarkable season, which saw Kettering survive a final date in the High Court while also losing six of their first 10 league matches.
And while the disappointment is still raw, chairman Jeune is ready for the pressure that will be on the club to go one better once the new season gets under way in August.
Jeune said: “The pressure is going to build next season.
“There was no pressure on us during this campaign but we built a squad clearly capable of getting promoted.
“We have to put together a squad that can perform and make sure we have the right budget in place to do that.
“Whether people like it or not, having bigger gates at this level allows you to have a bigger budget.
“The expectations will be high and rightly so. We have gone on enough about the winding-up orders and that has probably helped take the edge off the disappointment, although it was a bitter pill to swallow.
“If we can do it next season without having to worry about the play-offs then I will be a very happy man.”
Jeune, meanwhile, says the task of retaining as many of the current squad as possible will start immediately and he believes clubs from a higher level will be looking closely at some of the players.
“We need to sit down and try to retain as many of these lads as possible,” he added.
“A lot of them are good enough to play in higher leagues and I am sure clubs will be thinking one or two of our players could improve their squads.
“It is difficult to get players to come into a lower level when they are good enough to be higher.
“But hopefully they have all had that taste of what it is like to play for Kettering Town.
“Our work starts immediately and we’ll see who is committed to staying here.”