Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Stuart Gray expects to be confirmed as the club's permanent new manager before this weekend's FA Cup clash at Rochdale.
Wednesday chairman sacked previous manager Dave Jones at the start of December and Gray has stepped up from assistant boss to guide the club to five wins and four draws from 11 games.
"It's very close," Gray told a press conference at the Owls' training ground. "I'm meeting the chairman roundabout 3pm (on Thursday), so hopefully there will be an announcement before the Rochdale game.
"It's a fantastic football club. The history, you only have to look at the managers who have been here before.
"I think the chairman has had three managers here. Hopefully I'll be the fourth and will be here for a long while."
Asked whether he expects to be appointed until the end of the season or beyond, Gray said: "We're still discussing that.
"The pleasing thing is, he cares about the club. He's interested in what's going on, he shows his face up here and it's great for the players to see the chairman - I don't know how many other clubs where that happens."
Former Southampton and Northampton boss Gray was expected to be handed the job after Wednesday's recent 6-0 thrashing of Yorkshire rivals Leeds, but Mandaric has been in no rush to end the speculation.
Mandaric confirmed before Christmas that former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock had been on his shortlist before changing his mind following the reaction of Owls supporters.
Gray added: "I look back to the Leeds game and the results are the most important thing.
"To get the performance we did against Leeds was fantastic, so when that didn't get me the job full-time you start to think, 'Hang on a minute, what do you need to do?'
"But that's the chairman's prerogative. He's entitled to do it how he wants to do it.
"He's asked me to get the team prepared and organised and ready for the games.
"It's taken 11 games so hopefully I don't have to wait until the 12th before it's announced.
"If I do I've just got to accdept it and get on with it."