JAMES Rowberry has set his sights on improvement ahead of the new League Two season.

Newport County AFC were well in the hunt for the promotion places last time out, sitting in third after the win at Carlisle in March, but a run of just two wins in their last nine games saw them slip to eleventh.

But after completing his first pre-season at the club with a 1-1 draw away at last season’s champions Forest Green Rovers, Rowberry was cautiously optimistic about his aims for the new season.

“We need progression. We want to progress forward,” he said.

“I won’t hide behind the fact that I want to take this football club to places where it has never been.

“That’s my job to do that. But we do it within a certain resource and a certain way.

“I’m ambitious and the players are ambitious and the staff are ambitious and the club’s ambitious.

“We have to bear in mind that we’ve still got some work to do, but progression is key for us this year.”

This summer has been the first extended period of time that Rowberry has had to work with his players since joining last October.

It has also seen eight new players joining – six on permanent deals – in a shift in mentality towards investing in players who can either be kept at the club for more than one season, or be sold on for a profit should they perform.

“The thing for me is that we’re developing a Newport County way,” said Rowberry. “It’s not the James Rowberry way, it’s the Newport County way.

“I want ultimately to leave a legacy with us - whatever happens in time - which is that is the Newport County way of playing.

“We want to develop in a certain way, and this is hopefully it.

“I’ve been really, really pleased with what the lads have done and what the staff have done, and how the club has supported what we are trying to do.

“I’m pleased with it, but I said to the lads that we need to peak at the end of the season, and that’s what we’re looking at.

“We’re at the bottom of the mountain at the minute and we’re climbing the mountain. We’ve got a bit of work to do still.

“But in general, across the course of pre-season, I’ve been really, really pleased.”