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David Martindale is not confusing desire with reality as he braces himself for the departure of captain Nicky Devlin.

The 29-year-old full-back, who signed from Walsall in 2019, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Ahead of the cinch Premiership game against Ross County on Saturday, Devlin said: “The manager understands the situation I am in, and my family life. There are no doors being closed anywhere but, I am almost kind of letting it play out.”

Martindale, however, is seemingly resigned to losing a key player from his squad.

He said: “Nicky has been here four years, he is captain and he has been incredible.

“And you know what? Good luck to him. That’s why players come to the club. I have huge admiration, huge respect for Nicky.

“I would love Nicky to sign (a new deal) but I am actively looking for a right-back and I have been since January.

“He is not resigned to leaving but we have to be realistic, there is a huge chance that Nicky won’t be at the club next season.

“Jamie Brandon came in during the summer to compete with Nicky so I have a capable right-back in the building at the moment but my recruitment never stops.

“I would love to keep him at the club but I am realistic to know that I can’t keep him at the club.

“He needs to go and try to get better finances for him and his family so I am more than happy.

“I understand the rationale behind it and if I am being brutally honest I agree with the rationale behind it. I am disappointed he is leaving but I totally understand.

“He is doing the right thing for him and his family so he will go with a big pat on the back and a big handshake and I wish him nothing but success because he has been phenomenal for me.”