James Beattie eyes promotion push after being appointed Accrington Stanley boss

Beattie has replaced the outgoing Leam Richardson as manager of Stanley. Photo: PA

Former England striker James Beattie is targeting promotion after landing his first managerial appointment at Accrington.

The 35-year-old was named as Leam Richardson's successor yesterday evening, having being brought to the npower League Two club by his one-time Blackburn team-mate as a player/coach last November.

Beattie scored seven goals in 27 appearances as Stanley secured their Football League status for another season, only for the feel-good factor to be dampened at the end of last month when Richardson left to become Paul Cook's assistant at Chesterfield.

The outgoing manager left a glowing reference on Beattie's manner around the dressing room with a young squad and the ex- Southampton, Everton and Stoke man prevailed following interviews with seven candidates, including former long-serving Stanley boss John Coleman.

And with the security of a two-year contract, Beattie wants a tilt at the third tier next term.

"We all believe that we're going to be successful and the aim is to get promoted," he said. "I'm not going to say it isn't because it is.

"I'll be utilising everything within my power and my network of friends.

"It's all right me saying that, people might say 'he's dreaming', but I think you've got to aim high.

"That's the ultimate goal and everyone will know that's what we're going for."

Beattie rubbed shoulders with another familiar face from his Premier League days, Francis Jeffers, under Richardson in east Lancashire this season.

While accepting he must work within a meagre budget, the new manager hopes to call in similar favours from his big-name acquaintances.

"I've got links to probably every club in the country so I'll be utilising all my contacts to bring players here," added Beattie, who will retain his players' registration but intends to concentrate fully on management.

"I'll be utilising the loan market. Any young player that we get in here will be treated correctly. They'll have a great workplace to come and develop their skills."