JORDAN NICHOLSON has left Darlington and Alun Armstrong has warned he will not be the last to leave the club this summer as he seeks to balance the books.

The manager has inherited a squad that includes some players on large contracts, and he feels there is better value to be found elsewhere.

Furthermore, the former Blyth boss would prefer to construct a group of fundamentally North-East-based players, so allowing Nicholson to go, a player who commuted from the Peterborough area, suits all parties

Armstrong has signed five players so far, all from Blyth, and he said: “I could do with another four or five, but I’ve got to shift some out and that will be sorted in the next week or two.

“I’ve spoken to all of the lads and I can’t name names, but it needs rectifying to balance the books, that’s the big thing I need to keep an eye on.

“I’ll stick by what the club want. It’s a good enough budget to get the team in the top half.

“There’s some I’ve got to move on. They know the situation, we can’t afford to keep them, they know that but it’s a case of them getting a club and it’s got to be the right deal for them, because they are contracted still at the end of the day.

“They either take a little cut now to get a move somewhere and play games, or they sit tight here and get forgotten about.

“You do get the stubborn ones, but it is up to me to try and get them on the right path. They should be playing football.”

Nicholson, top scorer in his solitary season at Quakers with 11 goals, has left the club by “mutual consent”.

With him now gone, only seven players remain with Darlington from last season: Simon Ainge, Jonny Burn, Terry Galbraith, Mitchell Glover, Stephen Thompson, Luke Trotman and Joe Wheatley.

“All the players here have got something about them, but unfortunately finances are dictating it,” added Armstrong. “If I want to bring in people then I need to shift some because of the kind of money some of them lads were on last year.

“I’ve got to shift some to bring people in that I know will strengthen the squad. Effectively I could bring in two for one.”

Armstrong has missed out on bringing in another player from Blyth as Connor Oliver has opted to join Gateshead, but he hopes to make his sixth signing soon, with Whitby’s Dale Hopson understood to be in his sights as is goalkeeper Peter Jameson.