A contract extension for Walsall assistant boss Richard O’Kelly will be arranged “very soon” – manager Dean Smith confirmed this afternoon.
Smith signed a deal to extend his own contract by 12 months through to the summer of 2016 earlier this week and is keen to see his assistant signed up on similar terms.
O’Kelly, who returned to the Banks’s in the summer for a third spell on Smith’s coaching staff, is currently contracted through to 2015.
The manager is also keen to tie down several players now his own deal has been resolved.
James Baxendale and Paul Downing have already been signed to new three and two-year deals respectively and Smith has frequently said more would be in the pipeline.
Smith said: “I’m going to sit down and go through things with (chief executive) Stefan Gamble and Richard and see if we can sort his contract to emulate mine.
“I’m hoping that will be done quite soon.
“I think I’ll also be sitting down with a few players and asking them to commit. That will be their choice.
“We are not rushing into anything, we will take our time and make sure it is the right decision for the club.”
Smith took over at the Banks’s Stadium in January 2011 and is already the 12th longest serving manager in the Premier League and Football League, such is the high turnover of bosses in the modern game.
He believes managers are frequently not given enough time to show what they can do and thanked the Saddlers for giving him the chance.
“You see the short amount of time that managers get and it’s never enough time to do what they want to do,” he said.
“A lot of the time it is because they inherit other people’s players.
“We all know it’s about surviving first and foremost, getting your head above the water and then you can start building.
“I certainly had to do that in the first four months I was in charge. We looked certain to get relegated but managed to stay up.
“I have been swimming against the tide since then but the club have a philosophy and a way of doing things correctly.
“I’m proud to have been given the chance to run the club.”