Molineux chief executive Jez Moxey will today step up his search for a new Wolverhampton Wanderers manager still smarting at the abruptness of Glenn Hoddle's weekend walk-out.
Having been as taken aback as the rest of the football world by the timing of Hoddle's announcement to quit on Saturday afternoon, Moxey yesterday met Hoddle to officially accept his resignation from his one-year rolling contract.
And, having avoided what he admitted was a temptation for the Wolves board to act on their fans' wishes and sack Hoddle in May following his failure to make the "minimum requirement" of the play-offs, that has effectively saved the club a potential #600,000 settlement.
But, having once again appointed Stuart Gray as caretaker-boss, and mindful of the fact that Gray was at the helm for five weeks following Dave Jones' sacking prior to Hoddle's arrival in November 2004, Moxey has made it clear that this time Wolves want a quick decision on a new boss.
Moxey has already received 25 applications, and revealed that he has made further inquiries of his own, more than one of which involves managers currently in work with other clubs.
Two men with Molineux pedigree are in the frame - former Wolves No 2 John Ward, the low-budget miracle worker, who has not yet signed his offer of a new five-year contract with Cheltenham Town, and Preston North End assistant manager David Kelly, whose future at Deepdale is unclear following Billy Davies' departure for Derby.
Although his lack of managerial experience counts against him, Moxey also invited an application from Wolves skipper Paul Ince, still to agree terms on next term's playing contract.
"Paul has made it clear he'd be honoured to be considered," said Moxey. "And we expect a formal application from him. But at the moment we're only talking to him about playing for us.
"Being the manager of Wolves is an incredibly demanding job. And it would be difficult for us to have a player-manager, but we will not rule out anything.
"I will make Paul a final offer on the playing contract and then we will address the other issue if he wants to put his name in the hat."
Moxey was in the middle of a restful jaunt in a rowing boat on Weston Park lake with his two youngest children on Saturday afternoon when he took the fateful call on his mobile from Hoddle. And yesterday Hoddle met Moxey for a final 'clear-the-air' meeting to reveal his reasons for quitting with barely a month to go before the start of the new season.
"I don't think the timing was brilliant," said Moxey. "We're disappointed and angry he did not make his decision sooner.
"Clearly he didn't think he could achieve what we wanted on our reduced budget. But we'd obviously have preferred him to tell us he was going to resign after the board meetings we had at the start of May when the budget position was first ratified.
"At the time, he did not want to resign. But his view is that it is better he goes now rather than get to a point six weeks down the line where he says he can't deal with this any more."
Though Hoddle is known to have been house hunting in the south-east since last month, he has vowed to Moxey that he does not have another job to go to.
"Glenn assures me he hasn't got anything else lined up," said Moxey. "That was one of our concerns, it remains one of our concerns and we will have to address that if and when it happens. But Glenn has told me that's not his motivation for going."