Julian Rhodes predicts a more attack-minded City next season – as he warned that more established names could be leaving.
Phil Parkinson’s budget will be £500,000 down on the first year back in League One but joint-chairman Rhodes is still confident of building on their 11th-place finish.
A major revamp is expected this summer with so many contracts up. Gary Jones and Garry Thompson have already gone and there are plenty of others still under discussion.
Rhodes said: “What is important is that we go into next season having learned from this one and I think we have.
“We’re currently having lots of conversations with Phil about what he needs.
“It’s always difficult because it’s going to involve players leaving who have become key characters with supporters and we need to move on. But that has to happen if you want to progress.
“I think there has to be more of an emphasis on attacking play and Phil has acknowledged this.
“Look at some of the teams in the play-offs. Rotherham and Peterborough have conceded more goals than us but they’ve scored a lot more.
“They’re a bit more gung ho and have probably had better players going forward than we have. Again that’s something we need to look at.”
Any change in philosophy could impact on the club’s stance with their out-of-contract defenders. Player of the year Stephen Darby, Rory McArdle and James Meredith are all in talks.
Rhodes said: “It’s not just football but also from a monetary perspective. It might be that we decide we want to spend more money in certain areas than we have been doing.
“The success in the past couple of years has probably been built on a solid defensive line. Plus we had a fantastic strike force, certainly in League Two.
“We still have one of the key figures from that in James Hanson. We also still have the main defender in Andrew Davies.
“At the other end, Aaron Mclean had some very big boots to fill and it’s fair to say he took a while to get going. But he finished well and we’re all excited about what he can achieve next season.
“There will be some players who leave, even though we will make them offers, because they perhaps can earn more money elsewhere.
“We have to cut ties and say thank you very much for two great seasons and move on.”
No signings are expected straight away until the negotiations with current players are done – but Rhodes is looking ahead with optimism.
“I’m excited about next season because I’ve seen enough to know that we can do better,” he said.
“The budget will be smaller. That’s because last year we set it £1million over what we could reasonably afford, knowing we had Nahki Wells to sell.
“We don’t have that now but the budget will still be £500,000 more than what we can reasonably afford and we have irons in the fire to cover that.”