“There are players that have left this week and I’ve spoken to all of them and they all said just how much they enjoyed it up here. But they had decisions to make and offers on the table, which we can’t provide as of yet.

“Without naming them, there were players that left that I wanted to keep so it is disappointing but that’s where we are at the moment.

“Still, I’m poised and ready to get to work as soon as possible once I get the green light.”

Despite the Tynesiders’ season ending almost a fortnight ago, Watson has continued working behind the scenes in preparation for next season.

“I’ve been doing some work and speaking to the lads who are in my plans and want to sign for next season, but it’s just about the timeframe at the moment,” he continued.

“Some of these lads will have other offers and they won’t be able to wait around forever. It’s not uncommon at this level to have players leave like they have but what is uncommon is that we are not able to offer any deals ourselves right now.

“Most clubs have a good core of players in place for next season and we still have lads here who are in that position that I will be looking to build a team around moving forward.

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