Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is expected to make a quick appointment in teh wake of Sam Allardyce’s resignation, with assistant Sammy Lee and midfielder Gary Speed possible candidates.
Gartside has confirmed that he knew about Allardyce’s decision to quit for the past two weeks, giving him time to think about a successor.
“I’ve had the chance to get used to it as I’ve known for two weeks,” he said.
“It’s a credit to Sam and other people that have known to keep it to ourselves.”
Allardyce’s departure has come with two games of the season to go and Bolton, who are fifth in the Premiership, are on course for a Uefa Cup spot.
Gartside also played down fears that his exit will have a detrimental impact on the club.
“The club has existed for 125 years and for a period of eight years Sam has been manager and I have been chairman, it’s a fraction of its lifetime,” added Gartside.
“We’ve been part of the club’s history but the club moves on.
“You can’t take away from what has been achieved in Sam’s reign of office and it’s unprecedented in the club’s history.
“But you’ve got to be positive about what has happened and positive about the future.”
Lee, 48, has been assistant to Allardyce for almost two years and is also involved in the England coaching set-up.
He said: “Everyone knows what my aspirations are.
“I have always enjoyed my time at Bolton. Sam brought me in. It is a great club to be at, it is a great club to work for.
“There are a great bunch of players here and great support.”
Various theories have been put forward to explain Allardyce’s departure, but a realisation that, compared to other clubs, Bolton would remain relatively impoverished, was believed to be key. Moreover, the possibility of working alongside his friend Ray Ranson, who is currently involved in a takeover bid of Manchester City, proved too hard to resist.