After finishing the season with a flurry, Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough wants to keep the team spirit together during the summer.
It looked as if the great escape was on after Burton secured 11 points out of 18 in April.
Relegation back to third tier was confirmed on the final day of the Championship season, as they fell to defeat at Deepdale after a 2-1 loss to Preston North End.
Speaking to the Burton Mail, Clough said “We are trying to keep the essence of that together,
“You see from the players that are under contract and the ones that we want to keep.”
Thirteen players are currently under contract at the Pirelli Stadium, whilst six players have been offered new deals by the manager, including Lloyd Dyer and Tom Naylor.
“It’s very important to try to keep the heart of that squad together.” Clough said.
“Because the spirit is the only thing that gave us a chance in the end.”
Bolton’s victory over Nottingham Forest on the final day condemned Burton to relegation, but the fact Burton’s fate went down to the final day made relegation even more bitter according to Clough.
“I think that has made it worse in a lot of ways, the feelings we are experiencing at the moment,
“If we’d have lost at home to Derby County then we probably would’ve been down then, and it probably wouldn’t have felt as bad as it does at the moment.”
Burton will go into next campaign in the third tier, but Clough will be hoping a settle side will be enough to help them challenge for an instant return to the Championship.