— Tom Farmery and Bradley King contributed with this report

Lincoln City fans have been assured by chairman Bob Dorrian that a new manager will be appointed before next week’s away fixture against Shrewsbury.

Several managers have been linked with the job and Dorrian has already confirmed that so far the club have picked out six or seven candidates likely to receive interviews for the vacant manager’s job.

The front runners

The outright favourites for the City hotseat so far have been named as Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman and ex-Southend boss Steve Tilson. Coleman (5/2) has recently agreed a new deal that would extend his contract at Stanley until 2015.

He hasn’t actually signed the contract at the Fraser Eagle Stadium yet but Lincoln would have to make an official approach if the Stanley boss was to make the move to Sincil Bank. Coleman’s Accrington played the Imps only a few weeks ago beating a then Chris Sutton side 3-0 on a miserable Friday night for any City fan.

Tilson (9/4) is one of the seven likely to be given an interview over the next week and is currently the bookmakers’ hot favourite for the Imps job. Up until the summer he had managed Southend for seven years and recorded 142 wins, 128 losses and 88 draws out of a total 358 games at Roots Hall.

The 44-year-old began his reign of the Shrimpers after becoming caretaker manager in November 2003 and after saving the club from relegation that season he was given the manager’s job on a full-time basis. Tilson would provide a breath of fresh air for City and stability is something that he would offer, especially when avoiding relegation is now the main objective at Sincil Bank.

Another manager looking to revive his managerial career is former Oldham Athletic boss Dave Penney. Penney (5/1) was most revered as the boss of Doncaster Rovers where he oversaw a play-off final victory against Dagenham and Redbridge that brought Rovers back into the Football League.

He then guided the Yorkshire-side to another promotion, this time winning League Two outright as champions. His time at the Keepmoat Stadium will be remembered best for success in the Carling Cup during the 2005-2006 season when Rovers beat Manchester City and Aston Villa before losing against Arsenal in a penalty shootout.

The dark horses

The odds on Middlesbrough under-18 manager Mark Proctor (7/1) were slashed during the week after a mad rush to back the highly rated ex-Livingston manager. Those odds have started to lengthen but his hiring still remains a distinct possibility with Proctor, who made over 500 league appearances, possibly seeing City as an ideal starting point to get back into first team management.

The duo of Steve Thompson and Mick Harford (7/1) were many Imps fans’ immediate first choice for the job when Chris Sutton resigned last week but the two have also drifted since then. Another managerial partnership with local knowledge, Paul Hurst and Rob Scott (8/1) who have worked wonders at close neighbours Boston United, are still in and around the favourites for the job and are believed to be keen to make their way into league football in the near future.

The rank outsiders

Outrageous internet rumours have suggested that ex-Tottenham and Argentina legend Ossie Ardiles (20/1) is interested in the Sincil Bank manager’s role. The Imps’ League Two rivals Hereford United confirmed that they rejected an application from Ardiles to be their new manager earlier in the week.

Sections of City’s support are now speculating that Ardiles could turn his attention to Lincoln City although the chances of him applying, being considered by the board and being hired are remote at best.

Other pie-in-the-sky long shots include Kevin Blackwell (25/1), Jim Magilton (20/1) and even former Newcastle and West Ham boss Glenn Roeder (33/1). None of the trio are likely to drop to the basement division of the Football League though.

All odds featured in this article came from bookmaker Victor Chandler and were accurate at the time of publishing.