The club confirmed ahead of the game today that an approach has been made for defender Aaron Hayden, hence the player missed out on the opening home fixture as that situation is dealt with, and with the focus switching completely to the 90 minutes to be played.
It was a bittersweet response from manager Chris Beech when he was asked to comment after full-time, with him having built up his reputation on developing young talent at the same time as having to become used to then losing them to other clubs – as is the case in this situation with it appearing to all intents and purposes that his vice-captain could well be heading elsewhere.
Speaking after the game, he told us: “It’s difficult for everybody concerned, including Aaron. He’s a hard-working, honest lad.
“I suppose it’s testament to another developed player that’s progressed while he’s been here. I don’t think it’s actually finalised, but I’ll prepare a statement which I’ll share with everybody should things develop further.
“We’ve just got to wait and see what happens overnight. He wasn’t available for today and maybe we’ll need to try and find another. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really sign Corey [Whelan] to be a centre-half but, wow, what a performance and what a player.”
“I love Aaron to bits and he’s represented this community on and off the pitch so well,” he continued. “It’s another player I’ve worked with that’s got better, and if I look back there’s loads of them like that. It’s just how it is, you work with these lads and if an opportunity comes, they go.
“In terms of how I feel about him going, I’ve prepared a statement which we’ll release and share, but not now straight after the game.
“He definitely would have played today, we all know that, so it’s turned out to be a situation that collectively we’ve done very well with. It’s not how I would have wanted the last 24-hours to pan out, but we did well.
“The timing wasn’t ideal but I’m not going to get drawn too much into it until it’s finalised and we put out our statement.”