Liam Hearn and Rakish Bingham followed Ritchie Sutton and Matt Rhead out the door at Mansfield Town this week for better deals, but boss Adam Murray is more than happy with his potential replacements.
Hearn, coming back from a three-year injury nightmare, signed a deal at Lincoln City while Bingham returned to Hartlepool, where he went on loan in Janury.
“They’ve obviously made their decisions for their own personal reasons, but they were two totally separate cases,” said Murray.
“Rakish’s contract when he first came in was based on it going up, accumulating up to a certain value on appearances made and whatnot.
“And looking at what we are trying to bring in and how last season went, the deals I offered the players were what I thought were value for what they brought to the club. It was up to them if they wanted to buy into what we are doing. The boys have chosen they want to take their futures elsewhere and we respect that.
“Probably over the last couple of years we’ve probably not been wise with our dealings.
“We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire of people that I believe will affect this league, so we will move on very swiftly.
“It was always going to be the case there would be a couple of options.”
He added: “Rakish chose to go back to Hartlepool. I know he spoke to them a couple of weeks ago so his head had been slightly turned. But that doesn’t faze me. I want people here that are going to be kicking the door down to stay.
“Liam’s was a different scenario as he’s not really played football for two years, so his deal had to be structured in a way that I had to look after the football club first and foremost and limit the risk of anything in the future happening to Liam.
“He is fit and has worked his absolute socks off to get where he is, but the common sense thing was that, with the two years he has had, we had to make sure the deal was right for the football club.
“Liam got offered a year straight off at Lincoln and he took that. It was a little bit disappointing as we put a lot of time and work into Liam. But at the same Liam has got to look after himself and what’s best for his family and we respect that.
“He is a top man and I got on really well with him. There was no hard feelings on that one. It was just a case of he chose to do what was best for him.”
With four players offered deals already having gone, Murray is aware several others could follow if they don’t accept the deals on the table.
He said: “Footballers are footballers and the decisions some of them have made speak volumes for where people are at. We are looking for people that want to carry on our journey and want to be here for the right reasons.
“With the contracts we will offer, we haven’t got to go out and offer peanuts but I won’t go out and throw money at people that I don’t think are going to put this football club in the higher ends of the table.
“I am not going to talk about budgets. We are in a position where we can go and get good players in and we will do is wisely.
“I won’t say I was surprised. We knew what we were dealing with. I was disappointed in certain areas as sometimes you think you know people and you don’t. But this is football and nothing ever surprises you. The boys that were here last year did a superb job for the club and they have moved on now. It’s a clean slate.
“This is a big recruitment process for me as well as the club as I am aware I will be judged on my product and I love that. It’s my pressure now.
“The chairman and the board have been very pro-active. We want to attack the other end of the league this year so the recruitment is a very intense process. I am doing a lot of digging to make sure we have the right people as well as the right footballers.
“We’ve got five or six that are virtually there. And they are people who have either come from a higher level or have affected this league in a positive manner over the last few seasons. We are talking to good players.
“The word has got around now how we want to go about the league next season, so we are getting some very good players getting in touch because they want to be part of our vision and our philosophy and where we want to take the club forward.”