Bolton Wanderers could yet consider making Jimmy Phillips, who is in temporary charge of first-team affairs, the permanent successor to Owen Coyle, alongside Sammy Lee and Julian Darby, who are assisting him ahead of the club's first match since the Scot's sacking – Saturday's visit of Bristol City.
Although the trio, whose normal role is to head up the club academy, are not actively under consideration as Phil Gartside, the chairman, and the owner, Eddie Davies, continue their search for a new manager, if Bolton were to win games under their tenure there remains a possibility they could signal an interest in taking over permanently. In return, the club may then consider their candidacy.
Lee, who was the Bolton manager during an unsuccessful spell that ended with his sacking in October 2007, indicated he may be interested in a permanent return to first-team affairs.
He told the club's website: "These last few days have been fantastic, but I've thoroughly enjoyed my time since I have been back here, if I'm being honest. When Jimmy and I were asked to do it, we didn't give it a second thought. I will do whatever I can for the football club.
"The boys have been spot on. They have been focused and I have been very pleased with their application. We know there is a lot of quality in that dressing room. We have a gameplan which we want to impose on whoever we play, but in order to do so you have to have the basics right. We have been working hard on that and have stripped things back."
Bolton sank to 18th under Coyle as the club attempt an instant return to the Premier League. But Lee believes Bolton can quickly rise up the division. He added: "People say the amount of games is a hindrance in this league, but I see it as a joy. It's a very demanding league but there are three games in quick succession. If we get a good points tally out of those we are back in the mix, and that is what we are looking for.
"People say you are only as good as your last game, but you are not. You are only as good as your next game and that is Bristol City at home where everyone will hopefully be up and ready to go. We need the 12th man at the Reebok on Saturday – the fans can make such a difference. They need to inspire us but we also need to inspire them from the pitch too. Hopefully we can both do it together and get the right result."
Across Lancashire at Burnley, where Terry Pashley, the youth team coach, has been placed in temporary charge, Coyle is not under consideration to make a return as manager according to sources at the club.
The Scot was installed as the bookmakers' favourite to return to Turf Moor after Eddie Howe departed to become the Bournemouth manager again on Friday. But it is understood there is no appetite at Burnley to offer Coyle the post he left for their rivals in January 2010, a decision that caused anger among Clarets fans.
On Friday Lee Hoos, the Burnley chief executive, spoke to BBC Radio Lancashire about a possible return for Coyle: "I just couldn't see how that one could happen. Obviously I wasn't there when the whole Owen Coyle saga happened. But I got enough feedback to know that there was a very bitter aftertaste and I just couldn't see a way back for that one. It has to be the right person – the right man for right job at the right time."