STEVE ROBERTS hopes to be able to have at least two to three seasons with his Pickering Town squad to be able to build them into promotion contenders.

Since their promotion from the Northern Counties East League premier division in the 2017-18 season, Pickering have battled to avoid relegation.

The Pikes found themselves at the foot of the Northern Premier League north/west division for almost all of last season and we five points adrift at the bottom when was the season was null and voided.

Former Scarborough Athletic boss Roberts, who succeeded Denny Ingram as manager in January, hopes to be given ample time to turn things around for the Pikes.

“I’ve spoken to the chairman and explained to him my point of view about where we’d like to be," he said.

“I’ve said to him that I’d like to keep the squad together for two or three seasons, if we can, and we can be aiming for mid-table rather than being down the wrong end of the table (next season).

“If we can be on the cusp of the play-offs, that would be a bonus.

“Moving on the following season, if we can move on to be challenging for promotion, that would be great.

“If we can keep that squad together, that’s what we would like to do.

“We don’t want to be down the bottom, scrapping against relegation again. For the past two seasons, that’s where the club has been at.

“The aim is for mid-table safety and anything coming after that, being a bonus."

In the short term, Roberts is looking to set provisional dates for pre-season friendlies, dependent on when football can resume.

“I’ve spoken to two or three different managers at our level," he said.

“I’ve spoken to Darren Kelly (Scarborough) and Chris Bolder (North Ferriby) and we’re all in the same kind of situation where you can’t really arrange your friendlies.

"With what’s going on at the moment, we’ve got to be ready for those to be moved and we’ve got to be flexible as soon as something changes."