EAST Thurrock United boss John Coventry says he takes responsibility for the club’s poor recruitment last summer.

Rocks went into the campaign with an almost entirely new squad, having released 10 individuals.

And Coventry feels suffering relegation to the Isthmian Premier League can be seen as a positive.

Coventry said: “The fact we’ve had a bad season could be put down to a number of things but, first of all, I have to take responsibility.

“My recruitment at the beginning of the season was poor and we got off to a bad start.

“We took more points in the second half of the season than we did in the first.

“Recruitment is down to me and that’s nobody else’s fault. The bottom line is we just weren’t good enough and I have to take responsibility for that.

“The recruitment has been good in other years where we’ve done well, but you need to put your hands up if things don’t go well.

“There are lots of reasons why I could have done better.

"This year I’ve been tied up with me doing other things around the club which has needed more of my time. That’s ended up with me not being able to spend so much time out watching games and players, which is something that I’m probably quite well known for. That has had a knock-on effect to where we are.

“It’s sad that we’ve been relegated for lots of reasons, but it’s also a massive relief in other ways. The club has punched above its weight for years and it’s caught up with us. For me, the only logical thing to do would be to find yourself in a lower division.

"People say we need to rebuild but we couldn’t have continued at the level we were at.”

Despite admitting to being frustrated with the players he brought into the club last summer, Coventry does not regret making big changes to his options on the pitch.

“We lost our last six games of the previous season and I thought we needed to make changes,” added Coventry.

“The people I had at the end of that season had been with me a long time.

“I don’t regret letting go of the 10 players I did from the sense of what they would have given me on the pitch because nine of that 10 have gone on to play two levels lower.”