Craig Hignett has revealed that talks remain ongoing over new contracts for some of his Hartlepool United squad - but that a firm deadline has been set.
Pools yesterday confirmed their retained list ahead of the 2019/20 season and, while five players were released, the club remain in dialogue with a number of key players who Hignett is keen to keep.
The likes of Scott Loach, Liam Noble, Ryan Donaldson, Nicky Featherstone and Carl Magnay all remain in discussions with the clubs over a new deal as the Hartlepool boss begins to assemble his squad for the new campaign.
But Hignett has again confirmed that talks will not be allowed to drag on, with a deadline set for decisions to be made - allowing the club to then take stock before branching out into the market.
"We’re still in talks with a number of our players and that will continue, though there is a timeframe set upon it," said Hignett, speaking in his weekly blog on the club's official website.
"Once that is passed, we’ll see where we stand and then we’ll make it a priority to let fans know."
And the Hartlepool boss has already begun trying to secure new recruits, having engaged in talks with a number of potential targets in recent days.
Indeed, Hignett insists he is 'extremely happy' with how his squad is shaping-up ahead of the new campaign, with Pools looking to build on last season's 17th-place finish.
"I have spoken to a lot of potential signings again this week and, as ever, there will be disappointments along the way," he added.
"However, we have a lot of targets on our list and we’ll make absolutely sure that we get the right people in to the club for 2019/20.
"We may be a long way from being where we want to be as a football club, but we are extremely happy with the progress we’re making in terms of putting together a squad which can compete at the top end of the National League.
"There’s no room for negativity within the Club, we’re all 100% positive about our plans moving forward."