IAN Rush still has ambitions to be manager of Wales, despite formally withdrawing from the race to succeed Mark Hughes.
He ended weeks of speculation on Wednesday by pledging his immediate future to Chester City, who have extended his two-year contract for a further 12 months. But Rush, who will continue to look after the Welsh U17s on a part-time basis, restated his ambition to lead Wales in the future
In a statement he said: 'I confirm I have spoken to the FA of Wales to inform them of my decision to formally withdraw from the candidate list for the vacant post of Wales team manager.
'I was proud and honoured when the FAW indicated they wished to interview me for the post and I am grateful to Chester City for giving the FAW permission to talk to me.
'Leading your country is the highest possible honour and, as a proud Welshman, I was flattered that the FAW had placed me on their shortlist and was extremely tempted by the possibility of being able to lead Wales into the next era.
'However, despite comments in the West -ern Mail, I did not apply for the post and after careful thought, I have concluded that had I been selected this is not the right time for me to move into international football management. I would love to do the job one day, but this opportunity is too soon.
'This is a personal decision and was reached only after much agonising. I wish to place on record my thanks and appreciation to everyone who has talked so kindly about my being a possible candidate for the post and in particular the fans for their kind messages of encouragement.
'I would also like to thank the FAW for the professionalism and courtesy afforded to Chester City and myself. I am sure the FAW will make the right decision when appointing the new manager from a very strong list of candidates.
'Whoever is appointed will have my full and enthusiastic support and I will assist the new manager in any way possible.
'I am saddened at the way a certain journalist at the Western Mail has published a highly inaccurate article about why I withdrew myself from consideration. I have not withdrawn myself because of any concern about not being selected and I certainly have not, as suggested in this article, used the situation to manipulate my position at Chester. I am taking advice from my lawyers and will expect a full apology from this newspaper.
'To all at Chester City, especially the fans, I pledge that hard work and commitment will continue. There will be ups and downs but I have a great desire to succeed.
'I thank the Chester fans for their support and understanding and look forward to seeing them at our next game.'