MARK LILLIS is set for an emotional return to Derby on Saturday as Huddersfield Town start the process of interviewing managerial candidates.
The popular former player and now academy chief is already set for a second match in the dug-out when Town host Crystal Palace in a vital Championship match tomorrow.
And his caretaker tenure looks like being extended to a third game, with bookies’ favourite Nigel Adkins believed to be out of the country until the weekend.
Adkins, who is taking a break after his controversial sacking by Southampton, ex-Burnley and Bolton boss Owen Coyle, MK Dons chief Karl Robinson, Coventry’s Mark Robins and Crawley’s Richie Barker are among those being talked about by pundits as a successor to Simon Grayson.
Town are remaining tight-lipped on the matter, but sources suggest Scotsman Steven Pressley, currently in charge of Falkirk but being linked to Dundee United, is not in the frame.
Head of football operations Ross Wilson is playing a central role in the search for a fifth manager in as many years.
His time at Falkirk, where he worked before a stint at Watford, has led to the speculation over 39-year-old Pressley, who played for Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Dundee United and Scotland.
However it seems that while Pressley fits the bill in terms of being relatively young, ambitious, driven and flexible in terms of chairman Dean Hoyle’s blueprint for taking the club forward, Town are concerned at being seen to be handing out ‘jobs for the boys’.
The uncertainty over the new manager means Town will find it hard to make any major signings before Thursday’s 11.00pm deadline, but it’s a price they are willing to pay as they hunt the boss who will help them consolidate Championship status, then move forward.
Lillis had 13 months as a Derby player in the Eighties, then had a spell as assistant to boss John Gregory.