JAMIE O’Hara believes Billericay Town are going into the upcoming campaign with a stronger squad thanks to some impressive recruitment.

Boss Harry Wheeler has completed four signings ahead of a second consecutive season of National League South football.

And O’Hara feels Billericay’s 3-2 pre-season friendly defeat to Southend United emphasised Town’s strength in depth despite a major budget cut during the summer.

The player-assistant manager said: “We had to cut the budget and make the club sustainable but it’s about recruiting right and Harry knows this division and the players in this league.

“He has done a fantastic job over the summer and I’ve helped in trying to bring the other boys with experience in.

“If you look at our squad, I think we look really strong and better than we were last season despite halving the budget.

“That was key for the club and [owner] Glenn [Tamplin] in order to move this club forward.

“I was really impressed against Southend because it was our first proper test of pre-season.

“We lost the game but I think we were the better side.”

O’Hara returned to Town in January as Wheeler was brought back to the club to replace Dean Brennan at the helm in January.

The 32-year-old has moved into the dugout as Wheeler’s player-assistant manager but the duo were unable to guide Billericay to a second consecutive promotion as the club missed out on a National League South play-off place on the final day of last season.

Since then, Josh Urquhart, Jordan Parkes, Ronnie Henry and Ben Nunn have been welcomed to the Steel Team Stadium and O’Hara is pleased with the impact they have made on and off the pitch.

O’Hara added: “One thing with me is that I have high standards with the boys and I won’t allow those standards to drop.

“I have been really impressed with the boys we have brought into the club during the summer because they have bought straight into that.

“They won’t allow poor standards, bad games or any of the other lads to be coasting through matches. Everyone is at it.

“We’re going to do this as professionally as we can and this is the first season with Harry and I in charge together from the start of a season.

“We are setting a benchmark for the boys.”