JAMIE O’Hara has rubbished Billericay Town chairman Dan Groves’ claims that a mid-table finish would be seen as an acceptable campaign for the National League South club.

Having reduced Town’s budget ahead of the forthcoming season, Groves insisted that he would be content even if Billericay do not challenge for promotion.

But O’Hara, who returned to the AGP Arena as Harry Wheeler’s player-assistant manager in January, believes bagging a play-off place should be the club’s minimum target.

O’Hara said: “I disagree with Dan. I want to put the pressure on the players and ourselves.

“Harry and I want to push the club to where we believe it should be and that’s up into the National League.

“I think we’ve put together a squad of players who are capable of getting into the play-offs. I think it’s a squad that is capable of winning the league.

“I know there are a couple of teams that have come down who are spending a lot of money and will be strong, but I think we’ve recruited really well.

“Dan was right in that we had to cut the budget and get it to where it needed to be so that the club could be self-sufficient.

“I think that was key for me and Harry as well because we want players on board who don’t want to be here for the money but because they want to do well for themselves.

“It was key for Harry and I to get those kinds of players on board and we’ve done that really well.

“I will have to tell Grovesy that he is being quite kind saying that we are going to be mid-table because I think we’re going to be pushing for promotion.”

O’Hara is enjoying a second spell with Billericay after briefly leaving during Dean Brennan’s stint at the helm last term.

The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, 32, made only a handful of appearances after being named on Wheeler’s coaching staff upon his return.

But O’Hara is eager to enjoy more time on the pitch this season.

Speaking to the new Talk of the Town podcast, O’Hara added: “I definitely want to get back playing.

“I loved coming in, being assistant and doing my coaching badges.

“Helping Harry was great but I was disappointed because I missed a month when I left and I felt like I was playing well.

“I was a big part of the team at the start of the season, but I lost a bit of fitness.

“I couldn’t get back to where I wanted to be fitness wise so that I could help the team.

“This season, that’s definitely something that we’re going to address.

“I’m going to do pre-season with the team as well as putting on sessions.

“But I want to be a part of the side this season, more than I was towards the end of last season.

“I still think I’ve got a lot to offer on the pitch.”