Avenue finance director Kevin Hainsworth is doing everything possible to provide manager John Deacey with a decent playing budget to help give the club the best possible chance of booking a play-off place in the Conference North.

They just missed out on breaking into the end of season extras in April in their first season back in the division.

But Hainsworth will not tempt fate by speculating on Avenue’s prospects.

Hainsworth said: “I think we will have a fighting chance next season and we want to push on but I’m not going to say we will be in the play-offs. It would be suicidal to predict where we are going to be because it will be a very tough division.

“We did well last year and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be there or thereabouts at the end of the next season but we were new last year.

“Clubs will have looked at us and they will have done their homework so it’s bound to be harder second time around.

“What we have in our favour is that we have a superb manager. John Deacey just has a knack, a way of getting the best out of his squad and spotting talented young players in the area that can make the step up.”

Hainsworth and the rest of the board are aware that a thin squad was problematic last term and they want to provide Deacey with the finances to boost that so that they can compete in the league.

“Last Christmas was a double whammy for us,” admitted Hainsworth. “We had so many injuries and suspensions just at a time when we had a run of six or seven games against sides in the top eight. We were looking strong in that group at the time but we never really recovered after that.

“There was a late burst but to be honest we were always playing catch-up after that and we want to be stronger this time.

“We still won’t have the budget or the size of squad that you can rotate like some of the other clubs. But we expect to have a greater number of players on board and a few will be confirmed in just over a week’s time when the transfer window opens.”

Like the Football League, the Conference clubs cannot register new players until July 1, a week on Monday.