Crawley head coach Gabriele Cioffi said he is relishing the prospect of going into his first full season in charge after the Reds signed off the 2018/19 campaign with victory.
Cioffi’s men ended the season with a win for the first time since 2012 as goals from Ashley Nathaniel-George, Filipe Morais and Panutche Camara saw off Tranmere 3-1.
The Italian, 43, who took over last September from Harry Kewell, says he is fully committed having turned down the chance to coach abroad in January.
He said: “I had a couple of offers in January to go and coach abroad but I refused.
“As far as I was concerned, it was love at first sight and I wish the new season would start tomorrow.
“It is a club with massive potential and the boys have ended the season showing belief; we are on the right path.”
This was only Crawley’s second home win in the last four months and Cioffi admitted that mistakes have been made over the course of the season and momentum lost.
He added: “It wasn’t a normal season. There were a lot of changes. But we can learn from what has happened and I feel that I am in the right place.”
Tranmere boss Micky Mellon has pledged his team will give everything they have got in their play-off battle against Forest Green despite the disappointment of missing out on an automatic promotion place.
Mellon made eight changes for the clash at Crawley but was relieved not to add to his injury list before the first leg at Prenton Park on Friday.
Rovers go into the play-offs with just one win in their last seven games despite James Norwood’s 31st goal of the season at Crawley, and Mellon said: “We lost two poor goals.
“I was terrified we would pick up any injuries going into these real big games. I’m pleased it’s over.
“We came to get a result and made a lot of changes, so it was difficult for the players to find the intensity. We looked short.
“A lot of people have paid money and travelled a long way. We put a team out that we thought could get a result, but I’ll take the responsibility today because too many couldn’t meet the tempo of the game.”
Rovers will be challenging in the play-offs for a third successive season, having been promoted from the National League last year, and Mellon hopes his players will use that experience to their advantage.
He added: “There was disappointment after not finishing in the automatic promotion places, but now we can put that behind us.
“We are delighted to be in the play-offs again and know it will be tough. We feel no real pressure because the achievement was in reaching them.
“We are going to have to use our experience and give it everything we’ve got to get through the first tie and, hopefully, go to the big house and compete again.”