MARK Harris is confident Carl Macauley is happy at Witton Albion despite speculation linking him with a vacancy at Chester.

The 47-year old pledged his future to the Northwich club last year, before leading his team to promotion via the play-offs to the Northern Premier League’s top-flight, when he agreed terms on a long-term deal.

Reports suggest he is a potential candidate to succeed Marcus Bignot, who parted company with the relegated Blues last week.

“Let me make things as clear as possible,” said Harris, Witton’s chairman.

“Carl is under contract here until the end of next season, and has given us no indication whatsoever that he wishes for that situation to change.

“Nor do we want him to leave.

“We would resist any attempt to encourage him elsewhere, and even if a rival was successful in persuading him then we’d have to be compensated.”

Macauley has followed a successful season last year with another, and Albion were in the running to contest the Premier Division play-offs until a surprise defeat against Stafford Rangers last Saturday.

They are nine points adrift of Farsley Celtic, in fifth, with five games left.

Harris said: “It’s very disappointing that this has gathered any traction.

“If any club wishes to speak to our manager, then there are channels to go through and in this case there has been no official approach.

“Carl is talented, we know that, and is a great fit for Witton.

“We’re not naive, and the better he does with us the more interesting he will become to other clubs.

“There will come a time when he wants to move on, but that moment isn’t now.”

Macauley’s job at Witton is part-time, and he is also head coach at the Fowler Education and Football Academy in Liverpool.

While insisting the current campaign isn’t over just yet, he has already started to plan for next term.

Two players, Nick Ryan and Will Jones, have agreed to extend their contracts.

A third, Anthony Gardner, is already on board.

Harris added: “Players, whether they’re ones we want to keep or who we’d like to bring in, want to know who is in charge.

“That’s why it’s extremely unhelpful to have speculation of any kind.”

Chester posted an advert seeking a head coach on Sunday, and invited applications before a deadline on Thursday.

Interviews are scheduled to follow next week.