Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson hopes to have a new manager in place before Saturday's Scottish Cup tie against Rangers after Peter Houston left the club earlier than planned.
Houston revealed earlier this month that he would not be renewing his contract when it expired at the end of the season but said he see out the remainder of the campaign.
Reports that Falkirk manager Steven Pressley and Partick boss Jackie McNamara had been interviewed for the job was followed by this morning's announcement that Houston had left United by "mutual consent".
Assistant boss Paul Hegarty will take charge of tomorrow's SPL against Motherwell at Fir Park but a new manager could be appointed before the visit of Rangers.
Thompson said: "You'll find out in the next couple of days where we are. I would prefer someone in place before this weekend.
"We've been working on it for the last wee while, quietly behind the scenes. We've had a very long list and we've taken our time.
"We've actually had time to look at what we would like and what we are looking for, which we have been doing for the last 10 or 12 days to be honest. Now it's time for us to move on from there."
Pressley confirmed an approach from United before another former United player, Billy Dodds, revealed at the weekend that he had held talks with the club.
Former captain Derek McInnes was initially one of the favourites for the post, having been sacked by Bristol City earlier this month, but it is understood he has not been interviewed.
Thompson refused to be drawn on any names reported to be in the running for the position, adding: "I'm not going to confirm who I've spoken to and who I haven't spoken to."
Asked why the decision was taken to bring forward Houston's departure, the Tannadice chief said: "It's something I had been thinking about for a few days and that's the decision that has been made. A lot of thinking has been going on.
"As a club, and as a board, we decided we wanted to move on from the position we have been in. I'm not going to go into any detail because it would be unfair on Peter.
"We do wish him all the best for the future. He's done a great job for the last two or three years, as well as the previous three years. It's just time for both parties to move on."
Thompson, who confirmed today he is back on the SPL board, added: "It's not been the best the last few weeks. I know in the continent it works very well when the coach says he's stepping down before the end of the season.
"It's maybe different in the UK, we're not quite used to that kind of thing.
"We've decided to move on and that's where we are.
"No doubt in the next couple of days we will see how things progress. We've got a match tomorrow night as well so we've got to think about that."
Houston, 54, had been in charge at the club since December 2009.
Speaking after Saturday's game against Ross County, he said: "I'm ignoring all speculation. I've declared I'm going and that gives me five months for the board of directors to find a new manager.
"So they have to get a head start on their work to make sure they get the right person.
"I'll carry on as normal. I'm contracted until May and want to get the team into Europe for the fourth season running."
Source: Dundee United Mad