STEVE Watson wants to win promotion with Darlington after committing his future to the club and signing a new two-year contract as manager.

Watson's initial short-term deal was due to expire after this weekend's game at Chester but talks between Quakers and the boss have been ongoing for weeks and a deal was agreed in the aftermath of last week's win over Farsley, securing a remarkable escape from National League North relegation.

Darlington - who wrap up their season tomorrow - looked destined for the drop when Watson took charge in January but, alongside assistant Terry Mitchell, the former Newcastle defender led Quakers to 12 wins from 21 games including 10 of the last 14 to secure safety with a game to spare.

Once survival was guaranteed, Watson was keen to get his future resolved and says he's "delighted" to have put pen-to-paper on a longer-term deal.

Quakers are still in negotiations with assistant Mitchell but say they "hope to make an announcement soon".

Watson now wants to carry the momentum of recent weeks into the summer and next season, and although he admits tweaks will be made to the squad, he says an overhaul is not required.

And he's not shying away from his ultimate aim at Blackwell Meadows.

He said: "Promotion has to be the next step in the next couple of seasons. That's what we have to aim for.

"Obviously we want to improve next season but that's the ultimate plan, to get to the other side of the table, to be knocking on the door of the play-offs and get this club out of the league.

"That has to be the plan. You hear a lot of managers playing it down, I'm not playing it down, that's where we need to be and what we need to aim for."

Watson had made clear to the club he was keen on extending his stay but wanted to put his future on the backburner until safety was secured.

He thanked his players, the fans and the club's staff and volunteers for their part in the great escape.

He said: "I'm delighted. We've had a great time since we've been here. The fans have been great, they've taken to what we're trying to do, as have the players, and there's a good side there.

"A little bit of manoeuvring in the window - not loads - and we'll have a side that can be competitive next season. We know what we we can achieve.

"I've liked listening to the chairman and his plans for moving forward - everything makes perfect sense, I'm really looking forward to it.

"We're improving as a side all the time, that's why we've ended the season really well.

"It does take time with a new manager, assistant and way of playing. You'd like to think the way we finished the season and that style of play will be remembered in the summer, we're looking to hit the ground running next season."

Darlington chief executive David Johnston said; “I am delighted that Steve has committed himself to the club by signing a new contract.

"The turnaround in performances since his arrival has been outstanding, and I look forward to working with him on plans for the new season."