Braintree Town chairman Lee Harding is confident that Hakan Hayrettin has left Braintree Town's squad in a better shape than what it was when he came in as Iron manager in October.

Hayrettin left his role with the club to take up a position on the managerial team at another side battling to get clear of the Vanarama National League relegation zone - Maidstone United - on Wednesday.

His final game in charge of Braintree was their 4-0 demolition of Barnet last weekend and they will now head to Hartlepool United with Danny Searle at the helm after he stepped up from his role as Hayrettin's assistant manager.

While Hayrettin's decision to join Maidstone wasn't necessarily one that he would have agreed with, Harding said he had no problem with his former manager moving on.

He acknowledged the fact that Hayrettin's appointment - for a second stint in charge after a previous spell ended with National League relegation in 2016 - wasn't hugely popular with Iron fans, but he applauded the work he had done and felt it had put them in a stronger position than when he came in.

"It's football isn't it," said the Braintree chairman.

"Hak took the view that Maidstone are a better bet as a club than we are.

"He is entitled to his opinion - I don't agree with him, but he is entitled to it and we now move on and prepare for Saturday at Hartlepool.

"I have always felt sad when someone has chosen to leave our club, but I have no problem with Hakan.

"I know he was not the most popular of appointments, but I have no problem with what he did.

"We were in trouble when he came in and he turned things around quickly in his caretaker spell with the same set of players who were with us before. "The problem was that players were free agents after the system put in place by the previous management and that was OK because we had had our fingers burned two years before when we had players tied in on contracts.

"So that had to be dealt with, but as we stand now, I think we are in a better position than when Hakan came along and we also have a very good replacement in Danny Searle now.

"The squad is better now and the recent games we've had - taking Ebbsfleet, who are putting big sums of money into it, and the FA Trophy game at Salisbury, which was tough because we weren't able to play a number of players, aside - should give us reason for optimism.

"We've drawn against Boreham Wood and Halifax in two games we really could have won, we beat Maidenhead and then we beat Barnet 4-0 last weekend, so I think things are looking up.

"If - and you can put that 'if' in bold and underline it - we win on Saturday, then we could find ourselves off the foot of the table.

"There has been real progress made.

"I know there were some very narrow-minded views expressed about Hakan and that was a shame.

"I look back to how people were not always positive about Robbie Garvey in his time as our manager, but he brought in a lot of players who laid the foundations for other managers to build success on.

"I think that may be the same for Hakan and I hope the work that he put in for us will help us go forward now."