LEE Connor has admitted he has endured the toughest week of his stint as chairman of Basildon United.

Marc Harrison resigned as manager of the Bees on Sunday, while a number of players also departed the Ho Ho Stadium in the days that followed.

And Connor, who will be in the dugout as caretaker manager when Basildon travel to AFC Sudbury tomorrow, confirmed it has been a difficult week.

“It has 100 per cent been my toughest week as chairman of the club,” said Connor.

“There are obviously a number of other jobs I do as well as being chairman, but it has been a difficult week.

“It was difficult having to make a big decision over cutting the budget and it was even harder with Marc and Liam Wallace stepping down, resulting in me stepping up and taking the managerial reins.

“I think that making the decision on the budget now was the right decision and I will always stand by my decisions.

“We had to do what we had to do and, without a doubt, it has been my toughest time but it is all part and parcel of being the chairman of a football club.”

And in the days that have followed Basildon’s 4-0 defeat to Bowers & Pitsea, a number of key players have departed the club for pastures new.

The likes of Brian Moses, Eljay Worrell and Fahad Nyanja have chosen to remain with the second-placed Bees, while they have been joined by a number of new faces.

Aundre Spencer and Rob Hodgson have made the move from Essex Senior League high-flyers Hullbridge Sports.

And a number of other players have also made the step up from the Essex Senior League in order to make the move to Basildon.

But Connor believes those joining the club will be hungry to succeed.

The caretaker manager added: “Everything that has happened is still raw and we didn’t want to lose Marc and Liam.

“I have respect for those guys and so I didn’t want to get a new manager in straightaway because otherwise that looks like I couldn’t wait to get rid of them. That’s not the case.

“I had to use my contacts to bring players in because the seven-day rule in the Isthmian League meant it would be difficult to bring players in before this weekend.

“I also wanted to give players in the Essex Senior League a chance because I know they have talent and are hungry to succeed.

“We will go to Sudbury with a gameplan and I’m hopeful we can get a positive result.”