ROVERS will begin interviewing candidates next week as their hunt for Dean Saunders’ replacement begins in earnest.
More than 50 applications arrived at the Keepmoat during a turbulent and speculation-filled week.
Applications will be accepted until Monday when a shortlist of around half a dozen will be drawn up for the interview process.
Such is the number of applications received, the club have pushed back their initial target of next weekend’s game with Leyton Orient for when they hope to make an appointment.
The Free Press understands the Rovers board feel a currently employed manager will be the ideal candidate.
Mark Robins, Steve Lomas and Paul Dickov have all been backed into odds-on favourite for the position over this week.
Chairman John Ryan is known to be a long time admirer of Coventry City boss Robins and would be keen to test the Sky Blues’ resolve if the 43-year-old was interested.
But Robins has denied speculation linking him to the post and insists he is staying put at the Ricoh Arena.
Former Rovers star Glynn Snodin has been championed for the post by brother Ian.
And Snodin – currently a coach at Huddersfield Town – is known to be highly regarded by the Rovers hierarchy.
Ex-Sheffield Wednesday chief Gary Megson and Grimsby Town managerial duo Rob Scott and Paul Hurst are also said to be fancied.
Fiery St Johnstone manager Lomas was said to be surprised by the strength of the speculation linking him with a move south.
Fellow north of the border boss Terry Butcher has also been linked and will continue to be after turning down the chance to manage Barnsley.
Chairman Ryan has targeted a seamless transition from Saunders to a new regime.
A permanent arrangement or deal until the end of the season has not been ruled out for caretaker duo Brian Flynn and Rob Jones.
The pair’s appointment was warmly received by the current squad.
And the case for extending the roles beyond a temporary agreement would be strengthened by a positive result at Stevenage on Saturday.
Jones and Flynn both addressed the squad on Tuesday, giving a ‘business as usual’ message as they seek to maintain the momentum of the promotion push which has taken Rovers to joint top of League One.