Hendon manager to consider future at end of season

Hendon manager Gary McCann. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

Hendon manager Gary McCann. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk - Credit: Archant

Hendon manager Gary McCann will consider his position at the end of the season after criticising the club’s board for budget cuts he believes killed their play-off dream.

A last-minute goal from Harrow Borough’s Steve Butterworth at Earlsmead condemned Hendon to a 2-1 defeat to their landlords on Monday night, leaving McCann’s side eight points off the Premier Division play-off places with three games of their season remaining.

The Hendon board chose to cut the playing budget by 40 per cent earlier in the season in the belief that the side would not end the season in the top five. McCann criticised the timing of that decision and underlined the impact it had on the playing squad.

And McCann warned that he, his management staff and the players now face a summer of “tough decisions”, with the possibility that the current team could be disbanded.

“Monday night was the last chance saloon for our play-off hopes,” McCann said. “It was a disappointing performance given the magnitude of the game but I can’t criticise the players. They have given me absolutely everything in very difficult circumstances.

“The decision to reduce the playing budget was detrimental to our season, without a doubt. I was upset with the decision and I made it clear that I did not agree with it. Ultimately [the board] have been proved right, but the timing of the announcement was wrong.

“If the budget had stayed the same I can guarantee we would have taken another six or nine points, and we certainly would have been able to keep hold of Jefferson Louis.

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“You have to ask the question: does the board want us to reach the play-offs? We are a club in transition and without a home.

“Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to cope with the Conference. I totally respect the board’s view on that if that is the case, but the reality is that these last three games are probably the last times this squad and management team will be together.”

McCann has been in charge of the Greens for nine years, having also made 196 appearances as a player.

But as the season draws to a close, he hinted this campaign could be his last in charge. He added: “With the current budget I can only see the team being dismantled, and then we will face another tough season next year.

“There are some difficult discussions to come this summer and some hard decisions to make for all of us.

“I’ll have to consider my future, and it will be difficult because I have been at the club a long time.”