NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry has declared 'it's all on me now' as he prepares for a first full season in the hotseat with his own squad.
The Exiles get their League Two campaign under way at Sutton United tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm) with the boss enjoying a first taste of calling the shots on opening day.
READ MORE: Team news ahead of Sutton
Rowberry left his job as first team coach at Cardiff to replace Michael Flynn last October and led the club to 11th place after their promotion challenge faltered in the run-in.
The manager has had a busy summer after the loss of golden boot winner Dom Telford and influential loanees Finn Azaz and Ollie Cooper.
Working with sporting director Darren Kelly, he got business done early to bring in eight new players in time to work with his squad in pre-season.
Rowberry was in charge for 33 League Two games last season, racking up 52 points, but is relishing taking on a full campaign with a squad that he has shaped.
"I can't wait. I am excited to see all of our work that we have done over the last six weeks come together," said the manager.
"It's all on me now. There are no excuses about not having a pre-season with them or not being able to recruit.
"With the pre-season that we have had and with the way that I believe is the right way to work, we give ourselves every opportunity to be successful with what we have got."
County suffered controversial Wembley defeats in the play-off final in 2019 and 2021 while last season they were in the mix to go up until the final weekends.
However, League Two is notoriously tight and there are a glut of contenders for the four promotion spots and, after the loss in recent seasons of Southend, Oldham and Scunthorpe, seemingly no basket case clubs at the bottom.
The sensible approach is to first cement a spot in the fourth tier before pushing to make it to League One.
"When I was at Cardiff, the year that we got promoted under Neil Warnock the first thought was to get to 50 points," said former Bluebirds coach Rowberry.
"We have a plan of where we want to get to but we have to do certain things along with way and need to peak at the right time.
"We are not going to peak on day one, we are still learning, developing and enhancing what we are trying to do. But always you look at 50 points, that is the first marker."
l More County: Pages 38&39