GARY Rowett cannot wait to get started on his summer improvement plan at Burton Albion.
The Brewers boss enjoys the summer as much as – if not more than – the football season as he strengthens his squad and draws up plans to move the club on.
Albion missed out on a place in League One after they lost 1-0 to Fleetwood at Wembley on Monday in the play-off final.
Now, Rowett says, comes the hard work to go one better next season.
“I probably enjoy the summer more than the season in some ways,” said the Brewers boss. “I like the planning and the challenge of it, working out what we need to do.
“It’s also a challenge trying to convince players this is the club for them.
“To me, the hard work will be done over the next five weeks – and I relish that.
“You always have to take a week of down time to rest your brain and then get back to it.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to next season and seeing if we can go one better.”
Rowett predicts that League Two will be even tougher next season, with Tranmere, Carlisle, Shrewsbury and Stevenage relegated from League One, and big-hitting Luton and Cambridge coming up fron the Conference.
“This year has been a lot harder with more challenges to overcome but it’s still been progress,” said the manager.
“It’s not just hot air - almost straight away all the staff have been in and it’s a case of working out how we can get better.
“We’re already talking about what we can do to get better.
“And next season is going to be even harder in League Two.”
New arrivals can be expected soon, while several of Albion’s squad from this season will also depart.
Jack Dyer last night confirmed his departure after four years at the club.
The 22-year-old midfielder made 62 appearances for the Brewers since arriving after his release by Aston Villa.
Forty of those appearances were starts and he scored twice for Albion, one a memorable goal against Fulham in this year’s League Cup tie.
The emergence of Matty Palmer and the solid partnership of Robbie Weir and Lee Bell limited his chances in his final season at the Pirelli Stadium.
He made just six appearances in 2013/14, with a further five coming on loan to Conference outfit Kidderminster, for whom he played against Peterborough and Sunderland in the FA Cup.