Andrew Wilson and Tommy Wright have insisted they are not about to walk away from the escalating situation at Corby Town.
The joint-managers were forced to throw together a new-look team for Wednesday’s 3-0 home defeat to Calor League Premier Division play-off chasers Poole Town.
With both Claudiu Hoban and Nathan Stanton suspended and Aman Verma having already left the club, the Steelmen were also hit by the news that Paul Malone, Gareth Jelleyman, Sam Ives, Chris Carruthers and Tom McGowan chose not to play in the match due to wages that are still owed to them.
It meant a mad rush for the management duo, who are also understood to be owed money, to call in favours from a few local players to ensure the club had a squad for the match.
The problems seem to be growing at Steel Park due to a stand-off between the club and Corby Borough Council over money chairman Kevin Ingram says is owed to the Steelmen and his desire to have a sports pavilion built at the stadium to help fund the Rockingham Triangle complex.
But with no common ground seemingly being found, the issues have now taken a firm grip on the on-field matters.
In a lengthy post-match media conference after Wednesday’s defeat, Wilson and Wright both looked and admitted to feeling mentally drained.
But both of them are determined to “fight to the end” with the club.
Wilson said: “Poole have come up here and shown us the respect I think we deserve as a club and the respect I think Tommy and I deserve for the type of team we tried to put out.
“They brought their full-strength team and they did what they had to do and they got their three points.
“We can only be proud of our group that we have assembled at short notice and they put in everything they possibly could.
“The game would have been tough with our full-strength team. I can only thank the lads who have come in and done us a favour and I can only thank the boys who have stuck with us in this troublesome time.
“It’s difficult but what other choice do Tommy and I have? We either grit our teeth, grin and bear it and hope the situation resolves itself in a positive manner or we walk away.
“Neither Tommy or I want to do that, it’s not what we came in for. We want to be here for the long-term.
“We brought into the chairman’s plans and ambitions when we took this job on. If things can get resolved then there is no reason why we can’t fulfil those ambitions. It is a tough situation.
“What we don’t want to do is ruin our reputation that we have built up. We don’t want to stay and get hammered every week.
“But equally we don’t want to walk away. We are in a catch 22 situation.
“It is a bit of a kick in the teeth but we have to try deal with it in the best way possible and keep working together.
“We have to fight until the end and hopefully all our hard work and determination will see us get the rewards. If not, then life is cruel.”
Wright confirmed he and Wilson had a meeting with Ingram both before and after Wednesday’s clash.
But with new information not forthcoming as yet, Wright – who played at centre-half for most of the game against Poole – knows he and Wilson can only take things on a day-by-day basis with a trip to AFC Totton looming on Saturday.
“Not much has come out of the meeting we had with the chairman,” Wright said.
“To be honest, we sat down with him before the game and after it and we are taking it on a day-to-day basis at the minute.
“All me and Stan (Wilson) can do is get a team out there. We just have to take it day-by-day and hope we can get updates from the chairman as and when they happen.
“It’s not easy for anyone and that’s why senior players decided to make a stand. Whether or not they come back is out of our hands.
“Paul (Malone) has taken it upon himself to release himself from his contract and who is to say others won’t do the same.
“That’s the situation we are in and we will have to see what happens before Saturday.
“It was a mad 24 hours really from 3pm on Tuesday, it was a dire situation.
“We had to make some calls and I am surprised both of us are still in relationships because we were not off the phone.
“I feel shattered because of it and I am sure Stan feels the same. It’s something you don’t expect to have to do a day before a game.
“Stan and I are made of stern stuff. We don’t want to walk away from it and we hope it gets resolved as soon as possible.
“It is taking its toll and it’s not nice to see the team that you have taken time to build crumble around you.
“To be honest, I wish we could fast-forward to the end of the season, the situation would sort itself out and then we could start again.
“In every chat we had with the players who didn’t play they didn’t blame me and Stan.
“There are no grudges towards the players. Paul Malone has gone and we don’t know about the rest of them. We don’t know whether they are coming back or whether we can afford to have them back.
“No-one has really committed to play on Saturday, I think they are all eager to find out what is going on just like everyone else.
“In terms of the likes of Greg Mills, Paul Walker, Kalern Thomas and Cleveland Taylor you just have to say they are brilliant.”
Wilson backed up those words and he knows players will now be “considering their option” but he also had a final word of praise for the club’s fans.
“I think we would be naïve to think that players are not considering their options because I think I would,” Wilson said.
“It’s difficult and that could have been two or three more players’ last games, we just don’t know.
“The fans were magnificent for us as well in these troubled times.
“I would just urge the club and Corby Borough Council to sit down and sort this out.”