Paul Carden admits Chester will always pull on his heartstrings but won’t be applying to become the club’s new manager.

The 39-year-old is revered as a club legend at the Deva, having made over 200 first-team appearances for Chester City and captained the 2003-04 title-winning Conference team, and was installed as an early front-runner with bookmakers for the Blues vacancy, in the wake of Marcus Bignot’s sacking last week.

However, Carden – currently boss at Northern Premier League promotion-hopefuls Warrington Town – confirmed he would not be applying for the Deva role and believes it could prove a thankless task when Chester do appoint their fifth permanent manager since reforming.

“Chester is one job that would always appeal to almost everyone,” said Carden, who has also managed Southport and had caretaker spells in charge of Cambridge United and Tranmere Rovers. “I have a longstanding, strong affinity with the club.

“It’s got real history and it is a fantastic opportunity for someone to go in there, but whether that is now is up for debate given Chester’s off-field problems which have been well-documented in recent months. But it’s not the right time for me to be applying for the job.”

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