West Ham co-owner David Gold insists the club will not be rushed into appointing a successor to Avram Grant.
Grant was sacked shortly after Sunday's 3-2 injury-time defeat at Wigan, a result that confirmed the Hammers' relegation from the Barclays Premier League. Former England coach Steve McClaren leads the betting to take over at Upton Park, while Chris Hughton, Neil Warnock, Gus Poyet and Sam Allardyce are also in the frame.
"The sooner the better because we have a lot of work to do - an enormous amount of work - but we mustn't be rushed," Gold told Sky Sports News. "This will be a very, very important appointment. We're choosing a manager good enough to get us out of this division and capable of continuing once we've achieved that."
He added: "Now relegation is known this is one of the reasons we moved quickly. It's important we have time for the CVs to come into us. I'm sure many, many managers will see the job as challenging and exciting and it's important we pick the right person.
"We're also prepared for the most exciting venture in the history of the club in the sense that we'll be moving to a new stadium, which is something we've never done. All these challenges have got to be addressed, so it's important we pick the right person."
Gold is scathing in his analysis of Grant, giving credence to the belief the Israeli struggled to inspire his players.
"Everything seemed okay to me when I visited the training ground, but my visits are quite short otherwise I get accused of interfering and that's the last thing I'd want to be accused of," he said.
"I'd be in the dressing room before a match and the training ground for half a day and what I saw was professionalism - but that's only what I saw."
The departure of West Ham's top players is inevitable, yet Gold will not let them leave without a fight.
Scott Parker and Rob Green will lead the exodus, while the contracts of Matthew Upson, Kieron Dyer, Danny Gabbidon and Lars Jacobsen expire this season. On-loan Wayne Bridge and Robbie Keane will return to their clubs as a summer of upheaval at Upton Park beckons.
"We will do everything in our power to keep our best players," said Gold. "It will be very difficult to ask an international to come and play in the Championship when traditionally England players aren't picked from the Championship. By the same token we're not in any hurry to sell. We must receive the proper amount of compensation."
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