Derby County chairman Adam Pearson hopes to appoint the club's new manager within 10 days after being impressed by the quality of applicants for the job.
Chris Hutchings is currently in caretaker charge at Pride Park after Paul Jewell stepped down from his position last week.
Hutchings is a contender for the role on a full-time basis and marked his first game at the helm with a 4-3 victory over Forest Green Rovers in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
He will also be in charge for Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester United as Pearson looks to sift through the candidates to replace Jewell.
"There has been an enormous amount of top-quality applicants, ranging from all sorts of experience, from people in and out of work, young and old, and it has been interesting seeing all the names come through," Pearson told the Derby Evening Telegraph.
"There are some surprising names in there and it is testimony to the size of the club and also, probably, to what people perceive to be a fantastic opportunity and challenge to take the club on.
"The serious work starts now, in channelling that down into some key names we want to proceed with.
"We would like to make an appointment in the next 10 days."
Meanwhile, Rams midfielder Kris Commons has urged Pearson to give the job to Hutchings, who has previously succeeded Jewell at Bradford and Wigan.
Commons said: "It would be super for Hutch to take over. He is a great coach - one of those you admire a lot.
"He wants to get the ball down and play the right way, and the lads have got a lot of respect for him."