Walsall yesterday proclaimed former Birmingham City d efender Kevan Broadhurst as the man most likely to lead them out of the League One relegation zone.
The 48-year-old beat off competition from a host of more recognised names to secure a three-month contract at Bescot Stadium, where he will be charged with the Herculean task of saving a team that has not won a league game in 2006.
In that time, under the stewardship of former England international Paul Merson, Walsall have plummeted from 11th place and four points off the play-offs to third-from-bottom and just 13 games from their second demotion in three seasons.
Even though Broadhurst has not held a managerial post since April 2004, Walsall chairman Jeff Bonser has clearly been attracted by the fire-fighting abilities he showed at Bristol Rovers and Northampton Town, where he led both clubs out of seem-ingly hopeless situations to mid-table safety.
Bonser has backed his new man to repeat his party piece at Walsall. "I believe, at this moment in time, Kevan Broadhurst has the best qualifications to keep us in this division because of his knowledge of the league and his experience at these levels," said Bonser.
"I take responsibility to a certain extent for the position we are in the league. We are in a very, very awkward situation, it is a very difficult job. Kevan came across to me as the right man for the job, that's all I wanted."
Bonser noticeably rejected a string of more publicly recognised applicants, such as David Platt and one-time Walsall hero David Kelly, in favour of a candidate whose reputation is rather less illustrious. The impression is inescapable that he had learned from his ill-fated dalliance with an inexperienced manager.
"We have had a lot of high-profile names thrown at us and it would be very easy for me to take somebody on who is high-profile and might be commercially right in the short term. I am looking for the future of the club, as well," he said.
For the time being, the future does not extend beyond May 6. Broadhurst has signed a contract that only extends to the end of the current season, although Bonser confirmed that if he keeps Walsall in League One, the job will be his.
Broadhurst assumes control promising nothing more than blood, sweat and, hopefully, not too many tears.
He will not make many changes. Mick Halsall will remain as his assistant - the two played together at Birmingham - and he does not expect to make any changes to the playing staff.
"The quality is there but, if you start sliding down that league, it is difficult to stop it, so the players need a little bit of help now," Broadhurst said. "It's gone on for too long, we need to turn that corner and start getting some results.
"The playing staff is good enough, but whether they are performing at the top of their game at the moment is another matter. I will be looking to give everybody an opportunity to show me what they can do.
"We will be organised, we will be disciplined and we will make ourselves very ugly and difficult to beat. If we do that, with the quality we have, we will win football games."
He is, however, aware that with less than a third of the campaign left, time is not on his side. Walsall need to start winning and quickly.
The chances of that happening could be better. Broad-hurst's first game in charge is away to league leaders South-end United on Saturday.
After that, two of the next three matches are also away from home which means the coming weeks will not be ones for the faint of heart.
"The players need to be mentally tough," he said. "Pressure is heaped on players and, game by game, the longer you stay there [in the relegation zone], the more it builds.
"I need players who can cope with that and produce the goods. We will find out who can and who can't."
And if he can do that in less than three months, his reputation as a club-saver will be bigger than ever.