Colchester manager Joe Dunne says his players may have to be patient over any future contract talks.
Sam Walker and Alex Gilbey have both committed themselves to the U’s but a number of their players will see their deals run out at the end of the season.
Skipper Brian Wilson, Clinton Morrison and David Wright are among those whose contracts are due to expire, after the current campaign has finished.
And with Dunne’s budget to be cut again, the U’s boss has stated any negotiations may have to be put on the backburner – for the time being at least.
Dunne said: “We’ll have to bide our time with the players who are out of contract.
“My focus is very much on what’s happening on the field and then we’ll gradually move to the off-field stuff.
“If I pick a player who is out of contract to play, then I expect him to play for the club. He’s still contracted to the club and we pay the players’ wages.
“If the contract is not being negotiated or renewed until the end of the season, then you still have to go out and give all you can on the pitch. We’ve all been there as players.
“Budget-wise, it’s going to change again this year and it won’t get any better.
“It’s knowing where we are in terms of the budget we’re working to, which isn’t set in stone yet.”
Dunne is still hoping to sign a new central defender in the coming weeks, to bolster his squad for the final three months of the season.
The Colchester boss has been an active player in the transfer market during his 16-month reign in charge at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
And he says he has a good relationship with players and their agents and representatives, when negotiating possible transfers.
“I take an active role in talking to players, clubs and agents and then I hand it over to Robbie (Cowling),” said Dunne.
“He’s the man who has to pay their wages and it’s a case of communicating.
“One thing that I’ve noticed is that the agents like talking to me and I don’t mind speaking to them.
“I’ve had a hands-on approach with every player that I’ve brought in pand it’s helping me as a young manager.
“A lot of other clubs have mediators but when it comes down to the money side of it, I talk to Robbie.”
For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.