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Heggs Sticks it Out

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Not many people would envy the position Hinckley United manager Carl Heggs finds himself in.

His side are rooted to the bottom of the Blue Square Bet North with just one point from twenty-four games, their last result a 6-0 thumping at the hands of leaders Chester FC.

Off the field, it makes equally grim reading.

Disputes over last season’s unpaid wages mean they are bound by a transfer embargo, while the debt-ridden club’s inability to pay off creditors saw them docked three points, giving Heggs nothing to show for their only league victory of the season.

Heggs has somehow to find a way of putting all this debt and controversy aside and concentrate on keeping his side in the division.

“I have been involved in football for a long time,” he said “If there’s one thing I understand, it is that there is nothing that I can say, or do, that will change anything in the boardroom.

“Unless I win the lottery and decide to give them some money, there is no point me wasting any energy whatsoever in worrying or trying to contribute to anything that’s happening in the boardroom because I have no control over it.

“What I have control over is making sure my players are fit and organised, and want to wear the shirt with pride and passion – that’s my job.

“So, I don’t get sucked into the politics of it all. My job is to get them ready and focused to play a football match.”

Heggs admits the situation is worse than he had expected when he took over the reins full-time in November after the club’s previous manager, Dean Thomas, resigned after sixteen seasons in charge.

“I knew the football club was in a bit of difficulty, like most football clubs,” said Heggs, who is in his third spell at Hinckley.

“I was aware there were some things that may have to take a back seat, but I didn’t understand the full extent of the problems, I’ll be honest.

“The football club is more important at the minute than the playing side of things because if you don’t pay off the necessary bills, you don’t have a football club, full stop.

“But I have never quit anything in my life – I have always seen things through to the bitter end.”

Motivating his players is surely a hard task when they are not always being paid on time and have suffered twenty-two defeats from their twenty-four league games this season.

But Heggs says he has no problem keeping them fired up every week.

“I always keep myself motivated and that rubs off on everyone else,” he said. “I wouldn’t allow them to take the foot off the pedal.

“When the game starts, whether you’re getting your money on time or not, once the whistle goes, you’ve got to give yourself every opportunity to be the best player on the pitch.

“I’m just trying to get a starting eleven out there each week. That’s getting more and more difficult.”

Hinckley have already failed to field a side once this season when they pulled out of their league fixture against Bishop’s Stortford last month as injuries and suspensions left them with only eight registered players, two of them goalkeepers, plus Heggs himself.

He may have played for Swansea and West Brom during his playing days but, at 42, and with more than two decades in the game, he is clearly no longer in his prime.

Heggs, however, refuses to fault the efforts of his players during this difficult period.

“They have been terrific through it all, they have tried their hardest,” he said.

“I’ve got 17 and 18-year-olds playing who should be playing in the under-19s and I’m asking them to play in a very tough league.

“I don’t find it hard to motivate them.”

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