Phil Brown says he isn’t splashing the cash when it comes to preparing his Lancaster City side for life in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
The Dolly Blues boss made Glossop North End full back Paul Dugdale his fourth new recruit as he looks to build on winning the First Division North title.
The aggressive recruitment drive – Sam Bailey, Scott Harries and Oliver Wood also having arrived at Giant Axe – has raised eyebrows elsewhere.
Brown insists however he is getting the right players at the right price and will be looking to get the most out of a committed squad, as he did last season.
“I think some people are putting two and two together and getting five,” he said.
“People look at last year and think we must have had a big budget.
“But it’s about getting the most out of the group you’ve got and getting value for money.
“We did that last year and we’ll be trying to do it again this year
“Our budget was about average, if not below average, and we did an unbelievable job to win the league.
“I’m really proud of what we did.
“We’ve gone up a league and we’ll be in a similar situation next season.
“That’s not me being negative about what the chairman has offered.
“We know what we’ve got to work to and we’re sticking to it.”
Dugdale is an attack-minded defender who impressed for both Kendal and Glossop last season having played out in America and Australia.
City beat other clubs to his signature with Brown saying his latest new signing will open up plenty of tactical options.
“I had a chat with him and told him about what we want to do,” said the Blues boss.
“He’s a hungry, young player who is up for the challenge of playing in the Premier Division and I’m delighted to have him signed.
“He played really well against us for Kendal and snuffed out our threat that day.
“We kept an eye on him and when he became available we made contact.
“He gives us balance as a left footer and quality.
“He gives us tactical options too, I can look at different personnel in different positions and a different shape for a plan B.”
The final piece of Brown’s jigsaw looks to be replacing Mike Hale, the City boss assessing his goalkeeping options.
“We’re biding our time with that one,” said Brown, who will also have young Luke Raybould next season.
“We’ve got to make sure we make the right decision when it comes to bringing someone in.”
Brown has also signed four more of last season’s title-winning squad up for life in the Premier Division, meaning 11 have put pen to paper ahead of the new campaign.
Adam Sumner, Rob Henry. Louis Mayers and Glenn Steel have this week committed their futures to the Dolly Blues.
Other members of the squad have agreed terms but are yet to sign forms.