Chester FC hope to have a new manager in place within a fortnight.
The fan-owned club sacked Steve Burr on April 7 following a dismal season and placed first-team coach Jon McCarthy in charge for the final four games of the campaign.
McCarthy and club captain Ian Sharps have guided the Blues to back-to-back victories, securing the club's National League status for 2016-17.
A host of names have been linked with the manager's position including ex-Tranmere Rovers chief Ronnie Moore , AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor and Craig Harrison, manager of Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints.
Others understood to have applied include one-time Chester City favourites Paul Carden and Shaun Reid, Manchester City legend Shaun Goater , ex-Everton and Newcastle United defender Steve Watson and former Eastleigh manager Richard Hill.
The club released an update on Thursday morning confirming there were more than 40 applicants and that has been whittled down to a four-strong shortlist.
The Chronicle understands that shortlist includes caretaker McCarthy, who has confirmed he would want Sharps as his assistant , and that the other candidates have recent National League experience, which was highlighted as a prerequisite in the advert.
It was initially hoped interviews would take place this week however for logistical reasons that will now happen next week and the board are aiming to make an announcement on or before May 12.
The new manager's first task will be to decide which players he wants to retain for next season with everyone bar Jon Worsnop, Craig Mahon, Sam Hughes and Tom Shaw out of contract .
The statement from the club reads: "After the advertisement of the available role, the club received over 40 applications for the position, and as a result a shortlist of four has now been prepared.
"Candidates have been made aware, and interviews for the job are to take place next week. An announcement is expected to be made by Thursday, May 12."