Bernard Morley says he and joint-boss Anthony Johnson will be ringing the changes to their Chester side this summer.
The Blues were beaten 6-0 by leaders Stockport County last Tuesday to all but-end their play-off hopes.
Chester responded on Saturday with a battling 2-2 draw at home to York City, but Morley has confirmed plenty of changes will be coming to their squad as they build towards a National League return.
“It’s going to be a new squad and I’ll be honest with you, it looks like there are going to be more players going out and more players coming in,” he told Cheshire Live. “But it’s never healthy as a manager as you want to add three or four to an existing squad.
“Me and Jonno, we’ve put our cards on the table and, being honest, I think there is going to be the same kind of transformation as last season.
“We may retain five or six and if we are give it a go next year then we have got to be ruthless with our recruitment and there is no room for sentiment anymore.”
Chester are six points adrift of the play-offs with three games remaining in their first season back at Step 2 following relegation.
“The pain of the past couple of weeks in terms of not reaching our goal hurts more than it does releasing a player,” added Morley. “So we have got to be ruthless and make sure we get our recruitment right next season and believe we can go on and compete (at the top end).
“We potentially thought we had a squad of 10 as a platform to build on next year but that has shrunk to maybe six or seven after this week. There have been some questions hanging over our head and we’ve seen two or three (against York) and we don’t learn and what we expect is players to learn from mistakes and they simply aren’t doing that.”