STEPHEN Vaughan plans to name Chester's new manager next week.
The new City owner confirmed yesterday that the position vacated by Gordon Hill last weekend has already attracted a number of high-calibre applicants including Neville Southall, John McGinlay, Mark Lillis, Mark Ward, Mark Carter, Owen Brown and Mike Marsh.
But caretaker Steve Mungall put himself firmly in the frame after leading Chester to a 2-0 win over Hereford on Tuesday and further success at Morecambe tomorrow will strengthen his case.
Said Vaughan: 'I hope to make an appointment by next Friday. We've had a number of excellent applicants but the door is still open and we've been in touch with Graham Barrow's agent Tim Webb to stress that includes those formerly in employment with the club.'
But Vaughan admitted former Tranmere stalwart Mungall is in the box seat.
'It's a nice headache to have but Steve is in pole position because he has already impressed me with what he's done and I got good feedback from the crowd about him on Tuesday,' he said. 'But we're not getting carried away. It's just one win and now we have to build on that.'
A Mungall-led management team would also be likely to include his former Tranmere team-mates Gary Stevens and Chris Malkin, who is a fully qualified physio.
The Scot, who was the second longest-serving player at Prenton Park behind Ray Mathias, made a dream start to his comeback in football by helping City off the bottom of the Conference as they ended a run of six successive defeats.
He plans to name an unchanged team at Christie Park tomorrow and said: 'Steve Vaughan has told me that if I do the business he need look at no-one else for the manager's job. I do want the job. They are a great bunch of boys.'
Mungall was handed the caretaker reins after director of football Hill was relieved of his duties following last weekend's 3-0 defeat by Margate.
Hill has been given three months' leave from the club and Vaughan plans to pay out his contract, while son Sam has been released from the playing staff.
Said Vaughan: 'We have paid up Sam's contract but I want to stress that the decision had nothing to do with his ability. It was taken purely because we felt his relationship with Gordon would have made his position untenable.'
It has been a busy week for the owner who has also made five key appointments to his backroom team. His friend Raymond Baxter, father of Blues midfielder Brett, has been made a director, while Mike Beech is the new company secretary and Steve Dearden has taken on the role of club solicitor. Jim Jones will operate as City's commercial manager and Bobby
Murdoch has been named as chief scout.
'I am just trying to get the club back to normality and hopefully this team will help us to do that,' said Vaughan. 'The fans have started to return and I think they appreciate we are trying to take the club forward again. We are not here on an ego trip'
- City Reserves won 6-0 at Altrincham on Wednesday. Paul Berry and trialist Amda Adil netted doubles with Scott Ruscoe and Lee Sefton also on target.
- Chester have been drawn at home to Stalybridge or Tranmere in the next round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.
- Chester will be in Monday's draw for the fourth qualifying round of the AXA FA Cup and may be joined by Vauxhall Motors who are at home to Harrogate in the third qualifying round tomorrow.
- There will be a Chester City ISA meeting at the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester on Monday at 7.30pm.
- Who do you think should be City's new manager? Use our website quick vote now!