Niall Quinn has drawn up a list of contenders as he attempts to fill the vacant manager's job at Sunderland.
The 39-year-old Irishman revealed on Monday, when his consortium tabled their £10million takeover bid, he had been given permission by former chairman Bob Murray to begin the search for a new boss.
Martin O'Neill has been installed as favourite, although Australia's interest in the Irishman and his personal circumstances mean the Black Cats may have to look further down their list.
Midfielder Liam Lawrence revealed has already delivered his rallying call to the players.
'It's exciting times. We had a meeting yesterday and it was really positive,' he said. 'The things he said were good to hear. He says he's going to do everything he can to make us a successful team.
'We are looking forward to getting everything going and getting a new manager.'
Quinn experienced relegation with Sunderland as a player and that has struck a chord with the current squad.
'I think with Niall taking over, the players will respond, and so will the fans,' Lawrence told the club's website. 'We had a tough time last year and Niall told us he understands what it is like because he's been there.
'With Niall coming in and a new manager we all have to prove ourselves. We have to prove we are good enough to be involved in what Niall Quinn is trying to do because there are likely to be new signings.'
Quinn's' impending move into the chairman's seat has set the city buzzing.
Martyn McFadden, editor of fanzine A Love Supreme, said: 'In a way he's everything that Bob Murray isn't. He was loved by the fans as a player. He seems like the perfect person to take over.
'We have got the stadium, we have got the fan base - all we really need is for somebody to come along and invest in it. Hopefully, now it's the dawning of a new era.'