MANAGER Paul Collicutt is determined to defy the critics and realise his dream of winning promotion with Evesham United next season despite falling short this time.

Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Blackfield and Langley, a result that saw the hosts crowned Southern League Division One South champions, made it impossible for the Robins to make the play-offs.

They go into Saturday’s finale at Bideford (3pm) knowing they will finish seventh, the lowest position of Collicutt’s five full seasons in charge.

But despite some online jibes the Jubilee Stadium gaffer insists he is as ready for the challenge as ever.

“I enjoy being at Evesham, the club has some cracking people there and I want to do well for them,” said Collicutt.

“The one thing I want to do is get the club promoted. I get told many times that I have shot myself in the foot with the success we have had in my time here but if people aren’t happy then it is their prerogative.

“They are entitled to their opinions and pay good money to watch us. Unfortunately you don’t keep people happy when you don’t win games of football and sometimes even when you do. That’s the position all managers put themselves in.

“The expectation has got bigger. That isn’t a problem because no one is more focused on getting the club promoted than I am but you need a bit of luck through the season to push you on.”

On where Evesham fell short this term, Collicutt added: “It was very hard to fill the boots of our top two goal scorers (Adam Mann and Mat Liddiard), both of whom moved up two levels last summer.

“We probably picked up more injuries than any other and that is not an excuse, just a fact.

“Cory Simpson broke his leg just after Christmas, Liam Harding still had problems with his knee and Ash Williams was out for months with ligament damage.

“The shorter-term injuries hurt us, continuity is key at this level. You need that bit of luck and that has definitely had an impact.

“The harsh reality is we have not scored enough goals or kept enough clean sheets.

“I will certainly learn from this season. I have made mistakes and so have my players.”