BURNLEY chief executive Lee Hoos insists no stone will be left unturned as the Clarets continue their search for a new manager.
And he hopes the club will have their new man in place by the end of next week.
Mick McCarthy and Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton continue to lead the race, though there are reservations as to whether McCarthy – who is believed to be the board’s top choice – would be happy with the funds available to try to mount a promotion push.
The former Wolves chief is also in the running for the post at Championship rivals Bolton Wanderers – although an avenue back to his previous job as Republic of Ireland boss was closed with the FAI deciding to keep faith with Giovanni Trappatoni on Wednesday.
Burnley are moving towards the end of the first round of formal interviews, with the second phase set to begin.
It is thought the club have met with up to 10 candidates, and it is understood Appleton, former Hull manager Nicky Barmby, Crewe’s Steve Davis – who captained Burnley more than 20 years ago – Barnsley’s Keith Hill, Sean Dyche, who made way at Watford for Gianfranco Zola in the summer, St Johnstone’s Steve Lomas, Steven Pressley of Falkirk and Dougie Freedman remain in the frame.
Bolton and Blackburn’s search for a new boss is also complicating matters – a situation which could take an extra twist should Blackburn move for Blackpool boss Ian Holloway.
Hoos said: “The key message is still that we won’t be rushing a decision.
“We are seeing a lot of people, and in an ideal world we will hopefully have our man in place by the end of next week.
“There’s no guarantee, but if that’s as long as it takes, that’s as long as it takes.
“We are beavering away and trying to reach a conclusion, and we’ve seen quite a few managers.
“I don’t want to mention any names, as we’re still open-minded, but the most important thing is to get the right man.
“We haven’t quite finished the first round of interviews, so we’ll focus on finishing those and then pushing on.
“But we have been ecstatic at the level of people involved, there are some really good managers out there who can all definitely do a good job.
“We didn’t know if would be this hard a process, but we’re very pleased and impressed at the managers out there.
“We’ll leave no stone unturned, we know we have a certain philosophy we want to stick to, but we’re flexible and not ruling things out.
“We’ve all been through the process before and we’ll take from those experiences and mistakes made previously, and apply what we’ve learned.
“But we want someone to provide leadership, and work with the type of players we have here.
“We want a short and long-term fix ideally. Eddie Howe assembled a very talented squad of players, and we want someone to take that on now.”
Joint-chairmen Mike Garlick and John Banaskiewicz are also in no rush to appoint Howe’s successor as they sift through the candidates.
Garlick said: “We’ve got a lot of applicants. We are looking at quite a number of people over the next few days.
“We’ve had some very strong applicants apply, we’ve had people who’ve had no experience apply, but there’s an interesting mix of candidates.
“In terms of timescales, the reality is I don’t think we are going to have anyone in place probably by Tuesday.
“The good thing is that out of the people we are seeing in the next few days, one of those candidates will get the job.
“And they will all be watching the Blackpool game because it’s live on television.
“Therefore, for the players and the team as a whole it really is important they perform to their utmost abilities because there new manager is going to be watching them.”
Banaskiewicz added: “We’ve had quite a number of candidates apply already, something like 15-20.
“We are doing our best to kind of screen which ones would suit our profile and we would like to have somebody similar to Eddie in terms of our kind of style, but obviously a manager with maybe a bit more aggression with some of the players.
“It’s a great club with great tradition and obviously we are attracting players to come here and we are attracting really good potential managers as well, because they see the potential.”