Mark Wright paid tribute to the young players called into first-team action this season after Chester's relegation from the Football League was confirmed with a 2-1 defeat to Darlington.
The Blues manager has been powerless to prevent them from avoiding the drop with a youthful team who have looked painfully out of their depth for large parts of the season.
"That's the way it goes and we've had to blood youngsters all season," said Wright. "We've got young lads out there, two of whom are on Â£45 a week, and I think they've acquitted themselves very well."
He continued: "If we can all stay together then I think we can put a side together to bounce back immediately.
"We have given some players big money but they haven't repaid the chairman on the pitch so we have to be honest and say that the big wage earners will have to go to keep this club going."
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