TOM Killick feels Poole Town's escape from demotion means the break-up of his team has been narrowly avoided.

Poole were effectively given the green light to remain in National South following the visit of Football Association officials to the Black Gold Stadium on Tuesday.

Dolphins, who have earned four promotions under Killick, had been in danger of returning to the Southern League but managed to upgrade their facilities prior to today's deadline.

And speaking ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Concord Rangers (3pm), boss Killick admitted the feat had achieved far-reaching consequences.

He told the Daily Echo: "I feel great gratitude towards the board of directors because I think we would have been looking at the break-up of the whole team had we been relegated.

"The players deserve to be in this league and some of them deserve to be in the league above, so you wouldn't have expected them to hang around.

"That would have been devastating for me and the club but, thankfully, we have avoided that."

Club officials were yesterday waiting to hear if Poole would be allowed to take part in the play-offs in the event they achieve a top-five finish.

Vice-chairman Chris Reeves confirmed earlier this week that Dolphins would consider an appeal if their hopes were scuppered by not having 500 seats under cover – a regulation believed to be over and above FA ground-grading rules.

Meanwhile, supporters will pay what they want for entry tomorrow, the club's aim being to attract as many fans as possible following the substantial upgrade works, which included installing low-level terracing, repositioning a floodlight and putting in additional turnstiles.

Killick said: "Our crowds have increased reasonably this year but to sustain this level of football without a sugar daddy pumping in lots of money, you need greater attendances than we have got.

"Hopefully, people will turn out in numbers because the effort has come at huge financial cost. Saturday is an attempt to generate a really big crowd and the revenue which goes with that.

"If the players can perform well, then with the additional support we are hoping to get, they could be persuaded to come back."

Asked if he would pay to watch Poole play in general were he not manager, Killick said: "Yes, I think I would.

"There are probably a lot of people who haven't seen us since our Wessex League days or at all.

"We're now just two leagues below the Football League and there are full-time teams in our league, so the standard of football has been transformed.

"We've got some very good players and our games have been good to watch. I do think I would watch this group.

"The ground is much improved and there is a good atmosphere around the place. It is a much more personal environment than Premier League matches or the professional ranks. It has a unique feel to it."

Luke Burbidge is doubtful with a knock but Killick is hopeful Marvin Brooks will return.

Cherries' clash with Southampton will be screened in the bar at the Black Gold Stadium from 5.30pm.