WREXHAM FC striker Andy Morrell is to take charge of the Reds following the shock departure of manager Dean Saunders.

Saunders, who took over as Reds boss in 2008, has joined Championship side Doncaster Rovers, although full details of his role have still to be confirmed.

He has guided the Reds to second in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season.

Saunders oversaw a seven-match unbeaten run before the Reds suffered two consecutive defeats. His final game in charge was Tuesday night's goalless draw at Southport.

Saunders, 47, was appointed as Wrexham manager in October 2008 by owner Geoff Moss and his three-year tenure brought a period of managerial stability to The Racecourse.

Doncaster have confirmed Saunders will be in charge for their game against Crystal Palace tomorrow (Sat).

Rovers are currently bottom of the Championship table and have not won a league game since March.

A statement on the club’s official website said: “It is with regret that the shareholders of Doncaster Rovers FC have taken the decision based on the long run of poor results, that Sean O'Driscoll and Richard O'Kelly have been relinquished of their duties.

“They felt that action needed to be taken to address the current position.

“Dean Saunders will take charge of the game on Saturday against Crystal Palace.”

Morrell in charge at Wrexham

In a statement today, Andy Morrell said: "Obviously I was disappointed to hear that the gaffer has moved on, but it's a fantastic for him to get such an opportunity and it also reflects well on the club.

"Personally I can only wish him well at Doncaster and thank him for all the help he has given me - it was a chance that he just couldn't turn down.

"My brother rang me at 7.30 this morning and I thought it was a family matter, but he was asking me had I heard that the gaffer was leaving.

"It was a shock, but the show must go on.

"He leaves us joint top of the table and we now have to look to continue that with some more good results.

"I spoke to the directors on arriving at Colliers Park this morning and they have asked if I would take on the first team affairs.

"For my part I'm only too happy to help out. It's come a little bit earlier than I was planning, but you can't turn now such an opportunity, as they don't arise too often.

"I feel I still have plenty to offer as a player and this will also allow me to see what life is like on the other side of the fence.

"For the moment, can I ask all our supporters to continue their great backing of the team at Grimsby tomorrow and then importantly for our two home games next week."

Club's Saunders statement

A Wrexham FC statement said: "Following an approach from Doncaster Rovers late last night, the club gave permission for Dean Saunders to talk to the Championship club.

"As of this morning Wrexham FC wishes to announce the departure of Dean Saunders to take on first team affairs with Championship side Doncaster Rovers.

"While we are obviously disappointed to lose him, even more so with club challenging at the top of the Conference, we have to thank Dean for all his hard work and professionalism throughout his three years with the club."