MANAGER Danny Searle says he will try his best to keep his Braintree Town squad together this summer, but admits it may be a tough task to hold on to prized assets who have placed themselves in the shop window in the closing weeks of the season.

The Iron closed their Vanarama National League campaign by extending their recent good form with a 0-0 draw at champions Leyton Orient on Saturday.

While the point they earned wasn't enough to get Braintree out of the relegation zone, it moved them further clear of the foot of the table and ensured Searle's side would finish in 22nd spot after claiming four wins and a draw from their final six games.

Form like that was inevitably going to attract attention and Searle said he would be speaking with players in the next few weeks as he begins to make plans for next season, although he felt it may be difficult to know at the moment who may be moving on or staying put.

"It will be very difficult to gauge that at this moment in time," he said.

"We have meetings coming up with players in the coming weeks, but some have hit very good form and gained interest from other clubs.

"So we have to take that into consideration and there is the budget to consider as well because we'll need to look at what we can afford to do.

"They have been a good group of lads here and I want to keep them, but it's just whether we can agree conditions with them."

Searle said his priority now is to build his squad ahead of a busy summer as the club prepares for life in the second tier of non-league football.

He added: "I'm looking at players who are coming in the radar now and I'm planning for pre-season.

"We have some confirmed fixtures already and there are three or four other clubs who are wanting to play us.

"What I'm looking for is to be playing sides who are of a level to test us and will help us get to where we're striving to be.

"I don't want gesture friendlies.

"I want opposition that will help us gauge where the players we have are and whether we need to bring in extra players ahead of the season."