CHIPPENHAM Town manager Michael Cook has devised a three-year plan in an attempt to gain promotion to the National League.

The Bluebirds found themselves in a relegation dogfight when Cook arrived at Hardenhuish Park in January.

Cook inspired Chippenham to five wins from 10 games to preserve their National League South status on a points-per-game basis.

The 51-year-old was offered a permanent contract in March and has vowed to “change the mentality of the club” in order to achieve future success.

“When I was arrived everyone was saying that success for the club is fourth from bottom,” Cook said.

“I don’t want to be a team that thinks fourth from bottom is success so I’ve said to the board, supporters and players that we need to start aiming for the top 10.

“I think that would be a brilliant success for this season. If we carry on with the three-year plan I’ve agreed with the chairman then hopefully we can kick on into the play-offs next season and try to get into the National League in the third season.

“That’s our aim. We’ve got a plan – whether it works or not we don’t know but I think it’s good to have a plan. We need to start thinking upwards instead of looking below us all the time thinking we’re going to get relegated.”

Chippenham have won five out of seven games in pre-season, including a 4-1 thrashing of Bristol Rovers U23 at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday.

Cook's men have also bolstered their squad with the signings of three forwards: Marlon Jackson, Bradley Ash and Ross Stearn, as well as defensive midfielder Luke Russe from Bristol Rovers U21.

The Bluebirds last played a competitive fixture in March but Cook believes there should be “no excuses” for a lack of fitness when the new season begins.

“Before we even met up in July, we had the lads monitored on Strava so we could see the runs that they were making,” Cook said.

“The lads will have been getting back to fitness for probably 12 to 13 weeks by the time the new season starts so there’ll be no excuses when it comes to fitness levels.

“We probably missed out on two signings which was disappointing. But that wasn’t so much about money. It was just that the lads were in the league below and wanted to stay at that club.

“Although it was disappointing to miss out on them at the time, I think what I’ve got in place is brilliant and I’m really happy with the signings.”