Northampton's search for a new manager has been narrowed down "to a few names", according to chairman David Cardoza.
The Cobblers parted ways with Aidy Boothroyd on December 21 and former assistant Andy King has held the reins in a caretaker capacity since, taking one point from his two games in charge.
King admits he wants the job on a full-time basis and is among the bookmakers' favourites alongside the likes of former Town midfielder Chris Hargreaves, Martin Allen, Brian Laws, Kevin Wilkin and Ian Baraclough.
Cobblers chief Cardoza acknowledges the importance of the appointment with the club currently bottom of League Two but he also knows it cannot be made with haste and the best candidate must be identified.
"We know there is an urgency around the situation, but likewise we are performing a thorough and detailed process to make sure we get the right man for the job," Cardoza said.
"It is not a decision that can be rushed and we are fortunate that we have Andy King to guide us through this busy interim period.
"We understand how important this appointment is, given our league position. We also know that we cannot rush a decision now, we must take our time and get it right.
"A lot is happening behind the scenes, all day, every day. We have narrowed our search down to a few names. We are talking to a lot of people inside the game, seeking their opinion and advice and making sure we do our homework to identify the right candidate."
Cardoza continued: "What hasn't helped is that we have lost 10 players to injury, suspension or unhelpfully timed loan recalls in just over a week and we clearly need to strengthen the squad. We are talking to Andy King about what he feels we need and he will be allowed to add to the squad when the transfer window opens, ahead of any managerial appointment.
"Now more than ever we need the backing of our fans and I would like to thank them again for their support. Thirteen of our final 23 games are at home, and the backing of the supporters at Sixfields will be crucial for us in the second half of the season."