Andy Holt believes it was a ‘blessing in disguise’ Stanley didn’t go up two seasons ago – as he says they are much better equipped for life in League One now.

Stanley missed out on automatic promotion on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign by one goal and then lost in the play-offs to AFC Wimbledon, who were eventually promoted.

And while the Stanley owner and chairman admits he was disappointed at the time in his first season at the helm, he says the club is in a much better place now if they can make the step up to League One.

“I know John (Coleman) was bitterly disappointed at the time as he is a winner – I am a winner as well but I pick my battles,” said Holt.

“I think, if we had gone up in 2015/16, we would have lost a number of our players as they were going anyway, in turn we probably would have lost a large number of games, lost fans due to this and probably come straight back down.

“It’s always been about building for the long term security of the club, we haven’t been lashing about money as we haven’t got money to lash out, but we have tied players down to longer deals and we make no bones about it, the aim is for them to do well for us and for us to sell them on at a profit.”

Stanley have paid money for Liam Nolan in the summer and then Callum Johnson, Jonny Maxted and Harvey Rodgers all joined at a cost in the January transfer window.

“If you want certain players, you usually have to pay. We can’t deal in most of the market but we believe we have got really good deals for the players we have brought in.

“We now have a squad with a longer life, compared to 2015/16 – it is not sand going through my fingers – it’s about the future.

“This is a great opportunity for the lads at the club, they can do well for us, help us into League One and many have the experience, ability or confidence to play in League One – and want to do it with Accrington Stanley.

“We want to go up this season and I believe, if we do, then we can more than compete in League One. If we don’t, we will still have players here who can compete at the top end of League Two.”

The owner revealed that Stanley turned down some offers, including one for Kayden Jackson, in the January transfer window.

“From my point of view, it was a derisory offer and we don’t have to sell yet – we will sell, but only for the right deal for the club.”