Firstly, I doubt the coach forbade "the more attacking approach."
I think the close defeats are more to do with out playmakers not being good enough - enough of the time.
Injuries to 6,7,9 & 13 for extended periods didn't help, and we've seen on occasion that they can play expansive and entertaining rugby. As you imply, if rumours are to be believed, our fortunes should pick up next season.
Since the early '80s (and probably before I started watching Batley), I don't think it's a coincidence that our most successful periods have coincided with halfbacks willing and able to open up the opposition with apparent ease. Tommo, Moore, Handforth & Black could all do it.