Defiant interim boss Lewis Thorogood has called for everybody to get behind Spalding United after their latest off-the-field problems.
The Tulips were forced to release skipper Lewis Brownhill, striker Joel Brownhill and key defender Ben Greenwood last week following the discovery of further debts that required the playing budget to be slashed once again.
Thorogood’s young side also lost 3-1 to Belper Town last Saturday, a result which saw them slide down to a season-low 14th place in the table.
The caretaker boss insists that he has no problem with the cuts made by chairman Andy Gay and the Tulips’ board – and also moved to rubbish any notion that the club would be better off dropping down to the Uhlsport UCL Premier Division to get their house in order on and off the field.
He said: “The debts have to be paid somehow – the obvious way was to cut the playing budget.
“I have no quarrel with Andy or the board, there’s nothing much that could be done. Debts keep appearing and the club has to sort them any way it can.
“From my point of view, there’s no chance we can get promoted this year and we have 11 games left.
“Losing Lewis, Joel and Ben is a massive blow, but rather that than the alternative. The safety of the club and its long-term wellbeing is paramount.
“I’d like to focus on the positives. We’ve got a talented group of young players here – I think the average age was 20 on Saturday – and, with the right additions in the summer, I’m excited about what can be achieved.
“The league will look very different next year and I’d expect there to be a step four league that contains a lot of derby games for us.
“With that in mind, nobody at the club is wasting any time looking into going back to the UCL Premier Division.
“It appears that certain teams that haven’t been interested in promotion in the past will be going up if they finish in the top five this year. Grantham Town are also battling relegation in the level above.
“In reality, our league next year could be much more local than ever before.
“But I’m more interested in the last 11 games and finishing the season as strongly as we possibly can.”
Next up for Spalding is a home clash against a Chasetown team that are battling relegation from the BetVictor NPL South East Division.
The Tulips go into Saturday’s clash at the Sir Halley (3pm) as favourites – and Thorogood wants his side to improve on their recent poor record against the sides at the wrong end of the table.
He added: “We’ve tended to underperform against the sides near the bottom.
“There’s no pressure on us, but they’ll be feeling that need to get a result.
“We need to push forward and finish the season as well as we can, regardless of what has gone on off the pitch.”
Jack Smith (ankle) is a doubt, while last night’s under-23 game was expected to contain a number of triallists that the interim boss is considering snapping up.