Dean Smith today confirmed he will be sitting down with Walsall chief executive Stefan Gamble in the next fortnight to discuss new player deals.
The Saddlers boss is keen to tie down several players to longer contracts in order to bring yet more stability and continue his long-term plan at the Banks’s.
An extended deal for assistant boss Richard O’Kelly is also in the pipeline after Smith signed his own extension through to the summer of 2016 last month.
The manager revealed he and O’Kelly will be holding talks with Gamble in the next couple of weeks to discuss the way forward.
“We are still trying to get a few things done,” said Smith. “There are a few players we are looking at who we feel have made big strides. We will be sitting down over the next week or two and talk about the players – myself, the chief exec and Richard – to see what we are going to do.”
Midfielder James Baxendale and defender Paul Downing have already signed new three and two-year deals this season – the former being the longest contract offered to a Saddlers player for several years.
Smith remains tight-lipped over which other players will receive offers though it is likely both left-back Andy Taylor and central midfielder Sam Mantom – who has already expressed his own desire to secure a new contract – will figure in his thoughts.
The manager is keen to see things sorted soon to avoid a repeat of last summer, when the club lost the likes of Febian Brandy and Will Grigg when their contracts expired – though they did receive compensation for the latter.
Smith had to rebuild the forward line as a result and he is all too aware performances like the recent 3-1 win at Swindon will alert clubs to the ability of his squad.
“People do notice players and you have to be mindful of protecting the best interests of Walsall,” he said.
“We want longevity here and that means longer contracts for players and keeping some togetherness at the club.”