Colchester United manager John Ward led his side to victory in their final home game – and then reiterated his desire to keep his squad together for next season.
The U’s signed off their campaign at the Weston Homes Community Stadium with a well-deserved 4-2 win over Tranmere Rovers.
With a number of Colchester players out of contract this summer, some of the current squad may have played their final game in front of the U’s faithful.
However, Ward wants to keep his team together and build on what looks likely to be a third successive top-ten finish, in League One.
Ward said: “We’ve finished in a top-ten place in the last two seasons and we want to do it again this season.
“You’re going to be a tough taskmaster if you want more than that but I do want a bit more than that – of course I do.
“I want to keep this group together if I can.
“There’s going to be changes here this summer but I’ve not had any problems with any of my players.
“The way that they have gone about it and their attitude has been brilliant and if they do get a move to a higher level, I’ll be the first to congratulate them.
“If they want to stay here, I’ll be the first to congratulate them on that, too.
“I would never knock that back from a player at all and they have to have the ambition to play at a higher level.
“I think there’s a lot more to come from these players but whether or not I can keep them together, I don’t know.”
See Monday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, including a full match report, pictures and reaction to the U's 4-2 win over Tranmere Rovers.