PAUL DICKOV COLUMN: Planning for next season is well underway

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov

There’s a lot of work going on looking ahead to next season and there has been since Christmas time, if not before.

We know the positions that we need to strengthen and the type of player that we would like to bring in.

Anyone that comes in will need to fit in with what already got here. The group we’ve got here already next year is really good, full of good pros, really good lads who get on with each other. Mentality is vital, and I’ve possibly been guilty over the last couple of years of taking chances on players who haven’t done it somewhere else before.

We’re going to try - and it’ll be difficult so I don’t want people to take my words literally - to have the basis of the squad in place by the start of pre-season.

We know what we want to do next year and the players we want to keep. Once I’ve sat down with the board and finalised everything, we’ll be making offers.

I think the players have a rough idea of who I want to keep and who I don’t through the brief conversations I’ve had with them.

We want to keep our best players.

Other clubs are well within their rights to speak to them but through conversations I’ve had with certain players and agents, they’ve reassured me there’s been no other clubs talking to them. But as I know from my playing days, players are liars!

I’m confident we’ll get things sorted. I’ve got a good relationship with my players. I like to think they know I’m honest and up front with them and vice versa.

It’s not just important for the lads we’re going to keep but it’s important we give the lads that might be released the best possible chance to let them know where their futures will be.

We’ve not put a time frame on when we’ll tell players. We’ve got an idea in our heads.

These last few games are important not just for the lads out of contract but for everybody. I’ve got decisions to make about the squad I want next year and I’m going to have a bit of time to do that.

People might be contracted but that doesn’t mean their futures are still here.

I was pleased with the win at Leyton Orient on Tuesday because we ground out a result, at last, without playing the way we can play. I was really pleased with how we defended set pieces. In the second half, once we’d changed it around it a bit, I thought we deservedly went on to win the game.