Such is Craig Liddle's standing among Darlington supporters that they have unofficially named a stand in his honour at The Northern Echo Arena.

Terms such as hero, and legend are regularly used by supporters to describe a man who continues to deflect attention away from his noble efforts as interim manager.

Optimist could now be added to that list, as Liddle is already planning for when the club emerges from administration.

Negotiations continue with three parties interested in keeping the club alive, but until a successful resolution is reached an amount of uncertainty permeates the club.

They remain under a transfer embargo due to non-payment of players' wages, and because so many of the first team squad have departed, Liddle is left with a youthful pool of players to choose from.

It is a situation he is extremely frustrated about, saying the Football Conference are "potentially damaging" Quakers' teenage players.

The likes of Dale Hopson, Scott Harrison, Jamie Barton, all of which were regulars in the youth team not long ago, will be involved at home to York City today, just as they were in Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Hayes & Yeading.

Liddle is planning for post-embargo, and said: "Ten of the 16 were 19 or under on Tuesday and in that situation what you're going to get is mistakes. That's part and parcel of their development. There were a couple of early mistakes and in the back of my mind I knew the game was over then.

"If this embargo is lifted we desperately to need to bring some experienced players in.

"So I've spoken to one or two players myself and I've spoken to one or two youth team managers about their players. I think its important go to the academy managers and coaches rather the player.

"I know what I think is needed in terms of staff and players to keep us in the league because that is out first priority. I don't want to get embedded in that bottom four because then it would become a real scrap.

"There's two problems, the main one is the league and the other one is getting players to come into this environment because nobody seems to know how stable the club is.

"So its not just the league we've got to convince, its players as well as we've got to show them that there's going to be a future here."

For various reasons, injuries to Graeme Lee and Aaron Brown being one of them, there were only five senior players in training on Thursday.

Liddle hopes Brown will be fit today, after recovering from a rib injury last Saturday in the defeat to Fleetwood, but Lee has a knee injury that kept him out of Tuesday's game.

Darlington lost 3-2 having been 3-0 down, and Liddle has lamented his side's luck at the Kingfield Stadium.

Jordan Pickford conceded a penalty early on, and shortly before it became 3-0 Kris Taylor had a header cleared off the line.

Liddle said: "I'm not one for excuses, but we do seem to be getting very little in our favour. The penalty, I've seen it on video, and its one of them that you've seen not given. Jordan had turned his back to get out of the way of their player and the ball was already over the bar.

"I've watched Kris' header on DVD and you cant really tell. But you can always tell from players reactions and some of our lads were celebrating so that tells its own story.

"Then Hayes go down the other end and kill the game off."

The defeat means that Darlington are 18th, two points above the relegation zone, York, who will be backed by a large following today with estimates varying between 1,500 and 2,500, in fourth.

Liddle said: "York are one of the best sides in the league and are going for one of the automatic promotions spots so we will have to be at our best.

"It'll be another young side again, but that belief and lack of fear because they're so young can work in our favour so hopefully that will be the case."

No matter what team he selects or the result today, Liddle will remain held in high regard.

The 'Craig Liddle Stand' banner will remain at the back of the West Stand after the group of supporters who erected it sought permission from the club.

Liddle added: "When my daughter got there last Saturday she noticed the banner as soon as she got there and she sent me a text, so I saw it after that. It's a fantastic gesture from the supporters. I was proud and chuffed that they felt that way inclined to do something like that for me.

"But I don't think I'm in Sir Alex Ferguson's category yet!"