CARL Macauley believes Witton Albion are a better team than when they were promoted, and his plan is not to make many changes this summer.

They finished seventh on their return to the Northern Premier League’s top-flight, entering the campaign’s final month as contender for a play-offs place.

The manager intends to spend the rest of May persuading his squad to stay for another year.

“I’ve spoken to everybody,” he told the Guardian.

“The problem at this time of year is that lads want to go away and not think about football.

“But it’s my job to have those conversations, both with those individuals we want to keep on as well as those we’re hopeful of bringing in.

“We know who we’d like to sign, and it’s not a long list.

“Ideally, you want to agree terms quickly and get things in place.

“However the answer you get back is that they’ve a couple of other options and they’re often reluctant to commit this early.”

Witton have already extended deals with Will Jones and Nick Ryan, while Anthony Gardner is under contract for next term.

Rob Hopley has pledged to play for another season too.

Macauley’s target is to have most of his squad sorted for the start of pre-season.

He added: “That’s why I got my holidays out of the way straightaway!

“It’s not a part of the job that’s my favourite – I’m more comfortable on the field coaching – but I think every manager recognises it’s a crucial period.

“I think we’ve improved as a team, and we’ll have to again to remain competitive.

“If anything, the division will be stronger because of who is coming up.”