KEITH Curle insists he is 'fully focussed' on Chester City's promotion challenge despite being head-hunted by managerless Bristol Rovers.
Blues chairman Stephen Vaughan this week refused an official request from the Pirates to interview Curle for the top job at the Memorial Stadium.
And Curle yesterday moved to draw a line under the matter by highlighting his commitment to keeping the Blues in the thick of the League Two play-off race.
Speaking exclusively to The Chronicle, the City boss said he was 'extremely flattered' to be considered for the Rovers job.
But he added: 'I'm ambitious and Chester, at the moment, are matching my ambitions. They want to go the same places as I do. Nothing's changed from the first day I walked in here to the present. I'm still fully focussed on where myself and the chairman want to take the club.'
Bristol-born Curle, who started his professional playing career with the Pirates, has made a big impression at the Saunders Honda Stadium since taking the managerial reins last May.
After a ruthless summer clear-out, he has stamped his own hallmark on the team and steered City into the play-off zone.
Rival clubs are clearly starting to take notice and Rovers are the first to attempt to prise Curle away.
'It's very flattering because I'm only at the start of my managerial career,' added Curle, whose Chester contract is due to be reviewed when it expires in December.
'It's always flattering to know you're being remembered, and it's not from what I did as a player - it's from what I'm doing as a manager.'
Blues chairman Vaughan, who dismissed Bristol's request to speak to Curle out of hand, added: 'I want Keith to finish what he's started here. He is one of the brightest young managers in the Football League and we know we have a man who can take us to the next level.'
Rovers have been under the caretaker guidance of player Paul Trollope since they sacked former Chester boss Ian Atkins last month.
The Pirates have drawn up a list of candidates and will be holding inter-views in the middle of next week.
They expect to appoint a manager by the end of the month
In the meantime, Trollope has been asked to carry on as caretaker boss for the next two games and has been told he has a future with the club.
* Fans who went to Tuesday night's LDV Vans Trophy tie at Cambridge United on the official supporters' club coach will be given free admission for tomorrow's home clash with Bury.
Less than 100 City supporters made the long trip south to see an under-strength Blues line-up go down 3-0.
Speaking in his post-match Press conference, Curle promised City fans who saw the game free admission tomorrow by way of an apology.
Anyone who travelled to Cambridge on the official supporters' coach can arrange to collect their free ticket by meeting up with supporters' club chairman Barrie Hipkiss before tomorrow's match.