Glebe Rangers may have finished rock bottom but boss Peter Cairns believes his side will be on the up in Championship Two next season.
A 3-0 home defeat against fellow relegated side Banbridge Town meant Glebe took last spot in the Championship One. Banbridge compounded Glebe’s miserable season as victory saw them leapfrog Rangers into second bottom place.
But while Cairns will reflect on the campaign with regret, he is also looking forward to the challenge of revitalising his squad.
Potential signings are being lined up to boost Glebe after a confidence-sapping season which also saw them booted out of the Steel & Sons Cup over a player eligibilty mix-up.
Cairns said: “I’m kind of glad it’s over with to be honest with you, but hopefully we’ll make a fresh start at the start of next season.
“Hopefully, we will have the chance of a full season in charge and get a few new faces in and maybe do a better job and give us a good season.”
Saturday’s performance encapsulated two of the main woes that Glebe have endured this season - the failure to convert chances and bad luck.
Like many games Glebe started well but never managed to capitalise on their goal-scoring opportunities.
Glebe hit the woodwork and saw efforts cleared off the line which demonstrated the narrow margins between victory and defeat.
Asked what has been the most valuable lesson during his managerial reign since he took over before Christmas, Cairns said: “For me, personally, it is taking chances, it is the most important thing.
“When we have our full squad we defend better than what we have shown. Some young lads have come in and learnt the hard way. That is how we learn. For me, it’s creating chances, when you are playing well you take advantage of those chances.”
Cairns said his squad has suffered from a lack of numbers and quality and he will be looking to address this in the summer.
He has been boosted by the rise of young players, notably Adam McVicker, but knows he will be busy lining up new recruits.
He said: “(We’d like) to add a few faces all over, we need to restructure the squad. We had a conversation with the players about it, and since I’ve came in I’ve only had a full squad to choose from for three games.
“We feel we need to add quality throughout the squad in general, just to create strength in numbers as much as anything you know - but a 20-goal-a-season striker would definitely help but they are hard to come by.”
And commenting on Saturday’s game, Cairns said the scoreline reflected harshly on his players.
He said: “They’ve got a bit of quality up front, and the two front players are decent in the fact that they scored in their first attack.
“We hit the post and saw the ball cleared off the line in the first 20 minutes.They got their second and third in the space of the half-hour mark.
“They were very disappointing goals. In the second half, again we hit the crossbar, the post again and their keeper made a couple of decent saves.
“Throughout the match we had at least a dozen good chances and a half a dozen of those were very good indeed.
“We didn’t put any of them away, I know it sounds like a broken record but it definitely shows the difference of us at the bottom and those at the top of league.
“Banbridge proved on Saturday that they’ve got that little bit of quality up top, in that when they get the chances they put them away.”