Wrexham FC boss linked with Wales job

Reporter:

Richard Williams

Dean Saunders has side-stepped speculation linking him with the Wales manager’s job.

Rumours are rife that John Toshack will tender his resignation as Wales manager and right-hand man Saunders is seen as one of the potential contenders to take over.

The 61-year-old’s position has come into question following Wales’ 1-0 defeat by Montenegro on Friday in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier.

Toshack has overseen a huge change in personnel following his appointment in November 2004, repeatedly emphasising his desire to bring through younger players.

This approach has partly been forced on him by the international retirement of players including Robbie Savage, Gary Speed, Ryan Giggs, Jason Koumas and most recently Simon Davies.

But Saunders said, as far as he was concerned, Toshack was still Wales manager.

“I would be interested in the Manchester United job but you have got to be asked first!” said Saunders.

“I don’t know what the situation is. I will be speaking to people at the Welsh FA to see what is happening but as far as I am concerned, John is still the manager at the moment.”

Reports have suggested Manchester United midfielder Giggs could be approached to succeed Toshack while under 21 manager and former Wrexham boss Brian Flynn would also be a contender.

Toshack meanwhile watched Wrexham’s 1-1 draw at Newport County on Sunday.

Striker Andy Morrell gave Wrexham a first half lead, netting his third goal of the season but the Reds were reduced to ten men just minutes after the break when Neil Ashton was shown a red card.

Craig Reid missed the resulting penalty and it looked as though battling Wrexham had secured an excellent victory but Newport equalised one minute from time.

Although disappointed not to have taken three points from the Welsh derby, Saunders was pleased with the performance.

“I was delighted with the performance, especially with how we played when we went down to ten men,” said Saunders.

“We were in total control but Neil said it was never a penalty.

“The support was great, the fans were absolutely brilliant. I think they could see the effort from the players and they appreciated that.”

One of three players - Nat Knight-Percival, Frank Sinclair and Johnny Hunt - will replace suspended Ashton for Saturday’s clash against York City at The Racecourse.

“Frank can play there and we have got Johnny,” added Saunders. “Nat can also do a job there, he went to left-back on Sunday and I thought he did well.”

Wrexham, 14th in the Conference table after taking nine points from their opening seven matches, are unbeaten in four games.

“It is coming together for us and we could have had a lot more points than we have got but we are unbeaten in four games,” said Saunders.

“We have got to keep picking up points but York will be a tough game.

“They are all tough games. It surprises you - Hayes and Yeading lost 5-0 against Eastbourne Borough and then went and beat Grimsby Town. You can beat yourself.”

French trialist Mathias Pogba, whose younger brother Paul is with Manchester United, will be given another run-out in tomorrow’s reserve team clash against Oldham Athletic.

But Saunders insists money will be an issue if he wants to sign the striker.

“He is going to play in the reserves tomorrow,” said Saunders. “But there isn’t any money left. We have given Mathias the chance to train here, get fit and prove himself. We will see what he is like when he is fully fit.

“A lot of these players are good professionals and not playing for much money. They are playing because they love playing football.”

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