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Next Walsall manager: Saddlers won't rush into appointment

Walsall have already received a number applications for their vacant manager’s job – but insist they will not be rushed into an appointment.

Stefan Gamble
Stefan Gamble

The Saddlers hierarchy are currently on the hunt for a new boss after sacking Jon Whitney on Monday.

Whitney had enjoyed two years in the Banks’s hot seat but a combination of poor results together with his turbulent relationship with fans cost him his job.

But while the process to find his successor has now started, chief executive Stefan Gamble said the club will be taking their time – with Whitney’s assistant Ian Sharps in charge of first-team affairs for the foreseeable future.

“The process is underway to find a new manager,” Gamble said.

“We know what we are looking for, and we have already had a number of applicants.

“We want to ensure we run a thorough process so that we identify the right person to take the club forward.

“In the meantime the first-team is in good hands under Ian Sharps with John Ward assisting him.”

Walsall are not in action this weekend with their League One clash with Wigan postponed due to the Latics continued involvement in the FA Cup.

Instead the game will take place a week today (March 21) at the Banks’s Stadium.

The Express & Star understands Sharps and Ward are likely to be in charge of that game.

Whitney also revealed after the derby defeat to Shrewsbury that Walsall’s game with Oldham on March 24 could be postponed due to international call-ups.

Should that be the case, the Saddlers board will have the luxury of more time to find a new boss.

Meanwhile, former Walsall midfielder Dean Keates says he hasn’t heard from the club about the managerial vacancy.

The 39-year-old, who is currently in charge of Wrexham in the National League, is second in the running with most bookmakers.

Keates has transformed the fortunes on The Dragons since replacing Gary Mills – with the Welsh side currently in the thick of a promotion race.

He would also be a popular appointment with supporters with the ex-Hull man originally from Beechdale, in Walsall.

But speaking to the Daily Post yesterday, Keates said he has not been contact with anyone at his home town club.

“I’ve had no contact from Walsall and don’t expect to,” he said.

Adi Viveash remains favourite for the job and is odds on with most bookmakers.

Former Reading and Leeds boss Brian McDermott is the third favourite.

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