ANDY MORRELL is surprised Wrexham have not make a quick-appointment after axing Dean Keates.

Keates was told last Sunday that he was not being offered a new contract, 24 hours after the Reds drew 1-1 against Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Road on the final day of the National League campaign and failed to secure a play-off spot.

Cub advisors, acting on behalf of Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds who completed their takeover at The Racecourse in February, are searching for Keates’ successor who will lead Wrexham into a 14th season in the National League.

But Morrell, a former player and manager of Wrexham, thought the club would have had a replacement lined-up amid all the uncertainty over Keates’ future.

“For me, there should have been a plan in place,” said Morrell.

“If they knew that Dean was going to be binned off at the end of the season regardless, then surely the past few months that they have been in charge there would have been some sort of process going on of ‘who are we thinking?’ and an idea that if it is not Dean, 'we are going for these two targets and see if that works'.

“But it doesn’t seem like that is the case from where I am sat and that worries me a little bit.”

Morrell believes only promotion would have kept Keates, a former team-mate who he managed when he took charge of Wrexham after Dean Saunders left for Wolves in 2011, his job following the high profile takeover of the club.

“I think that galvanised Dean and the group to push on and try and achieve that,” said Morrell.

“They just found a way to play and to win games. They did well against the teams that weren’t particularly great but they struggled against the better teams

“Wrexham were just a little bit short to get in those play-offs - the last game was gut-wrenching. It would have been a great achievement to get in there and sadly they just missed out.”

Wrexham found some form in the run-in and their destiny was in their own hands heading to Dagenham but results elsewhere meant the Reds needed to win and they missed out on a top-seven finish after drawing.

But Morrell felt Wrexham made huge progress this season after only just avoiding relegation when the 2019-20 campaign ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the final table calculated using a Points Per Game method.

“It was another big turnaround in players, they got in what they could and they ran with it,” said Morrell.

“They had a change around after Christmas time and I think that benefited the team.

“They were great in the run-in, losing just once in the last 10 games so they were in good form; but just not enough to get over that line.

“I feel for Dean because I thought he did a good job. The football he played wasn’t pretty at times but you have just got to find a way with what you have got, and I think he did that.

“He would have been looking to change it up a little bit and bring in a few more with a bigger budget and unfortunately he has not been given the opportunity.

“I think it was only going to take a promotion that they’d have found it very difficult to get rid of him.”