Sutton set sights on matching Woking's high standards
Paul Doswell has admitted Woking have set the benchmark for success very high, but is determined his Sutton United men will match them - but it won't happen overnight.
United lost 3-1 to the Cards in Tuesday's Surrey Senior Cup final meaning they have conceded 12 goals and scored just twice in three meetings with the league champions this term.
It followed Sunday's 0-0 draw at Welling United, which saw Doswell's men crash out of the Blue Square South play-offs 2-1 on aggregate after last Wednesday's 2-1 home defeat.
Sutton have enjoyed a memorable season of success after lifting the Ryman Premier League title last term and Doswell admitted he wanted more.
"Dartford and Woking are the best two teams in our league by a country mile and on each occasion we have played them we have fallen short," he said.
"Our big thing next season is to firstly make sure second season syndrome doesn't set in - which can happen after such a good year this year.
"And secondly, we have to aim to get close to the standards of Woking and Dartford.
"We've only lost eight league games all season. We got 74 league points, reached the second round of the FA Cup and get to the play-offs, so I'm absolutely chuffed.
"If we had gone up we would have lost a lot of games next year, because unfortunately football is ruled by the dollar.
"We have got a decent Blue Square South budget and we'd go up with a miserly Blue Square Premier budget.
"Eventually we will have good enough younger players, on not as much money as 30-year-old players, where we can compete."
Sutton, who only won three of their last 12 games this season, host their annual awards on Saturday night before the playing staff jet off to Marbella for a break two weeks later.
"Players who will not be with us next season will be told before we go to Spain," added Doswell.
"The majority of the squad will remain with us next season and we are speaking to two or three players - who we want to join the club - already."