WORCESTER City boss Carl Heeley fears the “gulf” between the big-spending teams and the rest in Vanarama National League North will “continue to get bigger”.

Heeley raised his concerns after his side lost 3-0 at well-backed Salford City and leaders AFC Fylde thrashed 17th-placed Boston United 9-2 on Saturday.

Worcester’s defeat at Moor Lane means they have only picked up four points against nine of the top 11 teams.

However, Heeley insisted it would be a “different story” if he had the type of budget he was aware other managers had in the division.

After back-to-back promotions, Salford are seventh in the sixth tier.

But former Manchester United players Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Gary Neville, as well as Singapore businessman Peter Lim, all have stakes in the club.

“You have got to look at things philosophically,” said Heeley, whose side are 13th, six points behind 11th-placed Stockport County and 12 adrift of the play-off places.

“If you look at Salford, they are in a great situation. They have got five very successful (former) Premier League players who have realised, to take the club to where they want, their money is not enough, so they bring a billionaire along to complement it.”

Apart from claiming a 2-0 win at Brackley and drawing 2-2 against Harrogate, the Blue and Whites have come away empty-handed against sides in the top half.

They have lost 1-0 to Chorley, Tamworth and Stockport, 3-2 to Gloucester City, 3-0 at AFC Halifax Town, 5-1 at Darlington and 3-0 at Salford.

But Heeley refused to get despondent and was “confident” he had the “most quality” he could get with the money available at cash-strapped Worcester.

“If I had some of the budgets those teams in the top half have, it would be a different story but I haven’t,” he said.

“We do the best with what we have got and that’s it.”

Last season, City battled to avoid relegation but they still secured a 3-2 win and 2-2 draw against high-flying AFC Fylde.

This term, however, the ambitious Lancashire side, who moved into a new 6,000-seater stadium in the summer, are four points clear at the top and Heeley said he was unsurprised by their rise.

“Fylde scored nine goals (against Boston on Saturday),” he said. “How do you do that? You get top players to do it. That’s how.

“Of course (the gap is getting bigger) and it will continue to get bigger. It is massive.

“I don’t get despondent because I know what we have got and I know what other clubs have got.

“Of course there is a gulf but it is what it is. Everybody knows what clubs like Worcester have got to contend with, so we are doing well to compete.”

Heeley added: “I am confident, with the budget we have, we have got the most quality possible.

“They are good, honest lads and want to do well for this football club and that’s good enough for me.”