LOYAL boss Tom Killick insists he will stay at Poole Town regardless of the outcome of the club’s plea to the Football Association – and is hoping his players will follow suit.

Dolphins were yesterday set to appeal to the governing body after the National League decreed Dorset’s highest-ranked non-league side could not take part in the National South play-offs.

Poole do not have 500 seats under cover at their Black Gold Stadium headquarters, a regulation believed to be over and above FA ground-grading rules. It is expected that the club’s case will be heard at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Crowned Southern League champions last season, Poole had previously been given the green light to remain in National South following extensive upgrade works to their ground.

Regardless of the result of the appeal, Killick, who has been in charge for 13 years, admits it will not influence his future.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Whitehawk (3pm), the manager told the Daily Echo: “It doesn’t affect my position.

“The club has made an immense effort to do what they have done in getting the B grading. If the appeal is successful and we finish in the play-off positions, that would be amazing but if not, it’s a question of finishing the season strongly.

“The players have been exceptional but we don’t want it to end on a low note. We just want some good results.

“While the appeal is pending, there has to be hope. What would be horrific for us is if the appeal were successful and we didn’t finish in the play-off places.

“That’s something you don’t want to contemplate so for that reason alone, we need to get three points against Whitehawk.”

Asked if he feared players could depart in the event of a failed appeal, Killick said: “I would hope not but I can’t speak for the players.

“One of our strengths is that a lot of the players have been at the club quite a long time and seem to have a good affinity with the club and each other.

“You hope they enjoy being at the club and will want to stick around next year.”

Poole are likely to welcome back Jake Smeeton (shin) and Killick is keeping an open mind on Abdulai Baggie, who could return from a groin problem. Frontman Richard Gillespie is definitely out with a knee injury.

Whitehawk are in the thick of a relegation battle with two games remaining and Killick is wary of the test which awaits.

He added: “Sometimes people say the best teams to play at this stage of the season are the ones who haven’t got anything to play for and Whitehawk are certainly not in that category.

“It looks as if one team is going to be relegated from Whitehawk, Gosport and Truro, so Whitehawk desperately need points and that in itself makes them dangerous opponents.”