John Coleman insists he only wants players who are committed to the Stanley cause – even if it means starting pre-season training with less than half a team.
Coleman will sit down with a host of out-of-contract players on Monday to find out whether they want to accept new deals to stay at the Crown Ground.
And the Stanley boss has warned that those who are reluctant to commit to the cause can start looking for a new club.
At present, Ian Craney is the only Stanley player with a confirmed contract for the new campaign, with the squad due to return for pre-season training next Wednesday.
"We’ll sort it all out on Monday," Coleman said. "I’m very optimistic that we’ll get a few more signed up.
"No one’s said no to a new contract but I’m going to sit down with the players on Monday, and by Wednesday I will know who’s staying and who’s going.
"Those who want to be here will be here – and those who don’t won’t.
"If I have to go into pre-season with five players, then as long as they’re all committed to the club, that’s good enough for me.
"We need that commitment. Maybe we don’t have the best facilities, and maybe we don’t pay the best wages, but anyone who has spent time at the club and played regularly for us will only have good things to report."
Coleman has acknowledged he will have a tough job keeping Jimmy Ryan, linked with Scunthorpe, while striker Terry Gornell has also been tipped to move on.
Joe Jacobson’s future is also uncertain, with Shrewsbury understood to be interested, although the defender insists he has made no decision as to whether he will stay or go.
Coleman is optimistic that Alex Cisak, Luke Joyce, Dean Winnard, Phil Edwards and Sean Hessey will be among those signing up for the new season.
Last night (Thursday), he was also waiting to hear the outcome of a board meeting in London at which chairman Ilyas Khan and his directors discussed plans for the new campaign.
The Stanley manager hopes he will get approval to bring in new signings to bolster his squad ahead of the League Two kick-off at Northampton on August 6.
He said: "I’m speaking to a couple of players next week, and we’ll have to see how that goes.
"You always need to improve. If you don’t look to improve, you’ll go backwards.
"We need to win more away games next season. We didn’t kill teams off away from home enough last season. We’d like to score more goals as well.
"There will be 24 teams in League Two next season who will all believe they can make the play-offs, and a fair few of those will think they can go up automatically. So it’s going to be a tough division."
And Coleman has no worries about raising expectations at the Crown Ground after leading the club to the League Two play-off semi-finals last season.
"Last season, we got what I thought we should have had the season before," Coleman said. "I felt we should have reached the play-offs 12 months ago.
"We were one of the three best teams in the league last season and I felt we should have gone up automatically.
"But we drew too many games, particularly away from home, and then let ourselves down in the play-offs.
"We should learn a lot from that. I’ve certainly learned a lot from it, and I hope that will make me a better manager."