Dean Keates has played down speculation linking him with the vacant manager’s job at Walsall and insists he is more than happy at Wrexham.

The League One club have sacked boss Jon Whitney after two years in charge following a run of four defeats in the last five games which leaves the 14th placed Saddlers six points above the relegation zone. The 39-year-old Keates began his career at hometown club Walsall where he won promotion three times during two spells, and is second favourite with some bookmakers to succeed Whitney.

Keates’ reputation is blossoming after turning Wrexham into promotion contenders. After taking charge in October 2016 following the dismissal of Gary Mills, Keates signed a new three-and-a-half year contract last February and guided Wrexham to a mid-table finish last term.

Sunday’s 2-0 cross border derby victory against Chester leaves Wrexham fourth in the National League, and he is focussed on the job in hand.

“I was asked to help out here, got myself am opportunity and got to an interview, came across correctly in the interview and got myself a job for a year-and-a-half,” said Keates. “Then that got ripped up and the club showed faith in me to build a long term project together.

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