John Coleman is putting the hurt of last season behind him as he focuses on taking Accrington Stanley one step further in the new campaign.
The Reds suffered automatic promotion and then play-off heartache last season – just one goal separating them from League One.
After being the bookmakers favourites to go down almost every season of their 10 campaigns in League Two, they have now shaken off that tag but one again Coleman has had to rebuild his squad.
Gone are 17-goal Josh Windass, right winger Piero Mingoia, midfielder Matt Crooks, defender Tom Davies and more and the Reds boss has signed 11 new players this summer.
“We have lost some good players but we have made some quality signings,” said Stanley boss Coleman. “Most teams would miss the likes of Josh, Crooksy and Piero but we I am excited to see these players play now.
“The new season has come around quickly. Obviously last season still hurts especially because we scored in every home game last season except the one where we had to, on the final day against Stevenage.
“But you can’t dwell on that now. We have to look forward and I have got to get these players believing in themselves again. We have looked strong defensively in pre-season and I have added attacking options this week in Arron Davies and Jordan Clark and we have been working on our attacking threat this week.”
Stanley kick off against relegated Doncaster Rovers on Saturday – a stern test straight away for the Accrington new boys.
“Doncaster are a massive club and I watched them play Newcastle in pre-season and I know what a tough game it will be.
“They have some good players but so do we and I say bring it on!
“It will be an unforgiving league this season – I think it could be tougher than last season with the teams who have come up from the Conference and come down from League One and teams like Portsmouth who you expect to be up there.
“I set a target of 85 points last season and we got there but it wasn’t enough – most seasons it would have been. I have again set that target and let’s see where it takes us.”