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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Coach Dean Saunders to turn down Wales call

Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders was named Wrexham manager in October 2008

Dean Saunders will not join up with boss John Toshack's coaching team for Wales' international friendly with Sweden in Swansea on Wednesday.

The Wales assistant will remain with Wrexham as the Racecourse manager prepares for their Blue Square Premier match with Ebbsfleet next Saturday.

Saunders controversially joined up with Wales for November's win over Scotland despite Wrexham playing the same day.

"I have discussed it at some length with John," said Saunders.

The former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers assistant missed Wrexham's key Blue Square Premier clash at play-off rivals Histon last March to be alongside Toshack for their 2010 World Cup qualifier against Finland in Cardiff.

And Saunders missed Wrexham's shock home league 2-0 defeat to Hayes & Yeading on 14 November to be on international duty for Wales in their comfortable 3-0 triumph over Scotland.


But Saunders, the ex-Wales and Liverpool striker, has decided against linking up for international duty as he still believes Wrexham can still reach the Blue Square Premier play-offs.

Saunders, who would have had to report to Wales HQ on Sunday, said: "At this stage of the season, I want to put all my energies into what we might be able to achieve at Wrexham.

"It's good of him (John Toshack) to release me this week, even though when I came to Wrexham it was made clear that I would continue to work with Wales.

"On this occasion, though, with us trying to close the gap on the play-off spots and the international in Swansea the last until the summer, I can concentrate solely on preparing for the Ebbsfleet match."

Wrexham are 12th in the Blue Square Premier and are 14 points outside the play-off zone - with one game in hand - as Saunders, named Wales number two almost three years ago, dreams of inspiring the Dragons back into the Football League.

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see also
Wales 0-1 Sweden
03 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Wales 3-0 Scotland
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Saunders picks country over club
21 Mar 09 |  Wrexham
Saunders denies two-job conflict
03 Oct 08 |  Wrexham
Saunders concedes Wrexham gamble
03 Oct 08 |  Wrexham
Saunders is new Wales number two
30 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Saunders calls it a day
18 May 01 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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