'Top 10 is a minimum' says Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham
Steve Housham says he is ready to tackle the biggest test of his managerial career so far.
The Gainsborough Trinity manager has presided over sweeping budget cuts at the Northolme this summer following the departure of chairman and benefactor Peter Swann.
Having been promotion contenders for the past two seasons, expectations – at least outside the club – are far more modest going into their Skrill North campaign.
Jamie Yates, Danny Hone, Terry Hawkridge and Luke Waterfall are among the players to have moved on.
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But some key players have also stayed and after some promising pre-season results, Housham is out to prove his doubters wrong.
"It's going to be a good test for me. People have gone on about Gainsborough Trinity being the multi-millionaires of non-league football," said Housham.
"In that period we got to the play-off final, finished eighth and got to the semi-final of the Trophy.
"So this is going to be a good test for me because I want to show people that I am a good manager and that I can get the best out of the players.
"I want to finish in the play-offs and the top 10 as a minimum."
Housham is still looking to strengthen his squad, but was enthused by the performance of young left-back Josh Lacey, a graduate of the club's under-19 team, in the County Cup win at Boston last weekend.
"Josh Lacey has caused us a headache. He was fantastic against Boston," he added.
"So do we need to look around? We all know our budget has been cut.
"There's kids like that who are on peanuts. In fact, most of the squad are on peanuts compared to what they were used to being on.
"So we'll take a lot of positives from that as we're going to rely on a lot of those under-19s this season."
Trinity begin their campaign at Vauxhall Motors, a side expected to be among the strugglers this season.
"It's a tough game. We've got to perform like we did against Boston," added Housham.
"Away from home, you're not expected to get as much possession and play as we did there.
"That's what we're looking to do at Vauxhall, but we'll only get that by working hard."
Vauxhall Motors (a), Saturday, August 17. Guiseley (h), Tuesday, August 20