John Coleman admits there are some big decisions to make for next season and there will be a ‘radical overhaul’ of the squad.
The Reds travel to Play-Off side Portsmouth for the final game of the season on Saturday, having secured their Sky Bet League One status last week with a 5-1 win over Plymouth.
After starting the season brightly, Stanley have been battling at the wrong end of the table and Coleman says valuable lessons have been learnt after Accrington’s first season at this level.
“There will be a radical overhaul,” said the Reds boss. “The position we are in, we have had to rely heavily on the loan market and sometimes, with loans, you have to take punts and next season it will be more educated punts.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased with the loans we have had but once again we are going to have the lowest budget in League One next season so every penny which is spent has to be spent wisely.
“I will be talking to the players and it’s a necessary evil and part of the job, telling some that their future lies elsewhere. Everything we do though is for the benefit of the club.
“This has been the longest season of my life. I would be lying if I said it’s been plain sailing but I have enjoyed it.
“As a manager, you want to manage as high as you can and I have learnt a lot from this season.
“Our goal return hasn’t been good enough and that’s something we have to improve.
“This league is strong and it’s unforgiving. We have slowly adapted to it and you have got to enjoy going to the likes of Sunderland, Charlton and Barnsley.
“What has pleased me is seeing the fans enjoying it. The fans who thought trips to Matlock and Worksop were the norm, and that’s no disrespect to either team as I love my non-league football, but now trips to Charlton and Sunderland are the norm. We have made massive steps.
“Hopefully there will be more thrills and spills next season.”