CHAIRMAN Anthony Hampson praised caretaker manager John Snape and his players for “putting the pride back” into Worcester City.

Hampson admitted Snape stepped up to take temporary charge of the Vanarama National League North strugglers in a “very difficult situation” following Carl Heeley’s decision to end his seven-year reign as manager.

Shortly after Heeley’s departure in late January all the players were put up for transfer as part of the club’s bid to “protect the remaining funds”.

Leading scorer Lee Hughes left for AFC Telford United before striker Colby Bishop, winger Connor Hughes, forward Micah Evans and experienced frontman Steven Craig followed him through the exit door.

Worcester have struggled for results, registering only one win in more than five months, and dropped into the bottom three following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Salford City.

But Hampson, speaking at the club’s end-of-season awards, insists City’s players should be “very proud” of themselves as they prepare for their final-day survival showdown with AFC Fylde at Mill Farm on Saturday (3pm).

“Well, this is football and I am so proud of the way you all played,” Hampson said.

“It was a tremendous game and that is to do with John.

“We call him Snapper. He has motivated the team back from a very difficult situation and I am very grateful to the players for the work they have done to put the pride back into Worcester City.

“You should all be very proud of yourselves and thank you very much from this club.”

Snape said it had been a “pleasure” managing his crop of players and insisted he was determined to finish what he described as a “horrible season” on a high.

City are one point adrift of safety and need to better Gainsborough Trinity’s result at FC United of Manchester on Saturday to stay up.

“When I came in I think there were a lot more outgoings than incomings which probably didn’t help but had to happen,” Snape said.

“I have had the pleasure of being the caretaker manager of this football club. It was lonely and still is lonely as I do miss Carl.

“But after a rocky couple of weeks every player has given their all, never given up and I would like to thank them all for that.

“It has been a tough, horrible season but I want the supporters and the players to realise that together we can go to Fylde and get something.”

Snape also hailed the work of a number of people at the club, including captain and caretaker assistant boss Danny Jackman. “Danny has come in at a difficult time,” Snape added.

“It has been frustrating for him as he wants to play all the time and I keep leaving him out.

“But on and off the pitch he has always been positive and gives his lot so I would like to say a special thank you to him for his time here.”