THE Rovers hierarchy are today set for a crunch meeting as the process of appointing a new manager gathers pace.
And the Free Press understands a preferred candidate could be decided upon by the end of the meeting.
The shortlist of candidates – drawn up in another meeting on Tuesday – will be rubber stamped today and interviews arranged.
But it is understood the board could have already decided on the identity of the man they want to succeed Dean Saunders.
The shortlist is said to include Steve Lomas, Paul Dickov and Glynn Snodin.
Current caretaker duo Brian Flynn and Rob Jones did their cause for a prolonged spell in charge no harm at all following Saturday’s record-breaking win at Stevenage.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, a statement from the board read: “The Rovers Board have had a very successful day today as they met to draw up a shortlist for the vacant position of first team manager.
“Although the process of finalising the shortlist is a difficult one due to the high calibre of applicants, the Board are looking to conclude the shortlist on Thursday when dates for interviews and interviewee’s will also be confirmed.
“There are no further details regarding the manager situation.”
More than 100 applications were received by Rovers including several from former Premier League and international bosses.
Former Rovers players Rufus Brevett, Mark Wilson and Graeme Lee all reportedly applied but did not make the shortlist.
Fan support for Flynn and Jones has increased since Saturday’s memorable win at Stevenage which saw the towering defender net an injury time winner and secure a record-breaking 12th successive away game without defeat.
The caretaker pair have proven to be a popular interim appointment among the players.
Defender Tommy Spurr said this week that Flynn and Jones would get the full backing of the current squad, should they get the nod to continue in the hot seat.
“It’s not for me to decide but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” said Spurr.
“I think we showed with our performance on Saturday that the lads believe in Brian and Rob.
“Everyone knows what they’re doing here.”
Jones insisted this week he has not allowed himself to think about taking on the role long term while Flynn, when asked, said: “Let’s just enjoy this moment and see what develops this week.”
Former Wales caretaker manager Flynn was yesterday backed into odds on favourite for the job with some bookmakers.
Interest in Coventry City boss Mark Robins cooled with the process of luring him from the Ricoh Arena likely to be difficult.
St Johnstone boss Lomas has said he intends to see out the 18 months remaining on his contract with the Perth-based side.
But sources in Scotland suggest he could be tempted with a move south.
In his exclusive column with the Free Press, chairman John Ryan writes that Flynn and Jones will remain in charge for Saturday’s game with Leyton Orient at the Keepmoat.
Two layers of covers have been placed on the pitch in a bid to ensure the game goes ahead with sub-zero temperatures and snow putting it in doubt.
The away trip to MK Dons set for January 26 has been postponed after Karl Robinson’s side reached the fourth round of the FA Cup which will be held that weekend.