Guiseley manager Mark Bower believes his team’s agonising play-off final defeat can fuel a successful promotion bid next season.
A goal in the last-minute of extra-time sentenced them to a 2-1 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday, which means a fifth season in Conference North.
A bitterly disappointed Bower said: “We have got to use this pain and this hurt of the manner of this defeat as a way to push on.“We must use it as the fuel to do well next season.
"Any day somebody has to win and somebody has to lose, but we have to use the pain of this to make sure it us winning next time.”
Bower, who masterminded the amazing transformation from relegation contenders when he took over to a play-off final, is already planning for next season
.He said: “We have put in place the found-ations for a very good side. It is the end of the season so people will come and go, but not much needs changing with this side.
“Since we lost at Altrincham in the league in October, we have managed to bring a few players in and kick on. We had a points-per- game average from that point on that would have won the league if we had done it over the whole season.
“We have a lot of good players at the club, and many of them are on contract for next year so there won’t be a raft of changes.”He added; “We have already started iden-tifying the talent we need for next season, and we need to make sure we sign the right players and characters.
"We have to keep im-proving.”Saturday’s defeat meant Guiseley have now missed out in the play-offs for four successive seasons. “We don’t like the play-offs,” said Bower. “We came so close. This year we thought we had a good chance. If it had gone to penalties, you never know, but we switched off and got punished.
“Altrincham are a good side and I con-gratulate their manager Lee Sinnott and his staff for the job they have done.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more from my players. The result apart, it has been a great day for the club and we had 900 fans following us.
“The lads have given everything for myself, Bosh, Martin Stringfellow, the club and the supporters.“We played some decent stuff in a match between two good footballing sides but it doesn’t make it any easier for us. We lost the game and came here to get promoted and it hasn’t happened.”