Mark Catlin believes Pompey have attracted a ‘superior calibre’ of applicant for the vacant manager’s job.
And the Blues chief executive insists the club would consider paying compensation, if required, to capture their ideal boss.
The last time we went external was December 2013 and the standard of applicants in comparison is definitely a superior calibreMark Catlin
However, reports in Southend today claim Phil Brown, a popular choice among Blues fans, will be signing a new three-year deal with the Shrimpers before the week is out.
Pompey are expected to draw up a shortlist on Thursday when the board meet to sift through candidates to replace Andy Awford.
Between 60-70 ‘serious’ applications have been received since Awford’s departure a week today.
The quality of those to put themselves forward has impressed Catlin, with the Blues seeking their first external appointment since Richie Barker in December 2013.
Catlin said: ‘I am really, really impressed with the standard of applications.
‘There are successful managers below this division, successful managers in this division and managers from levels above.
‘The last time we went external was December 2013 and the standard of applicants in comparison is definitely a superior calibre.
‘I am quite shocked at some of the applicants.
‘The reason for that is I think there is a great confidence within the football world in the new strategy of the club.
‘The feedback I am getting from people via their agents is the club is now deemed to be very stable, very supportive and the conditions are right for the right person to take the club onto the next level on the pitch.
‘People in football know our budget more or less.
‘They know the support we have given to managers, they know we have a training ground, they know financially we are stable and debt-free – so it’s an attractive proposition for some.’
Darren Ferguson, Dave Jones and Nigel Worthington are just some to have shown interest.
Several League One managers have also applied, with the bookies putting Chesterfield’s Paul Cook high up in the running.
And Catlin revealed paying compensation would be considered by the board.
He added: ‘The single most important position at a football club is the manager and I think the board is of the mind we should be doing all we can to get the right person in the position.
‘It may include compensation, it may not include compensation.
‘That would be a decision for the board. But I wouldn’t rule it out.
‘I am assuming on Thursday the board will be looking to whittle the names down – discount the ones they are not interested in.
‘Then arriving at a sensible figure that myself, Tony (Brown) and Iain (McInnes) can then go out and start discussing it with potential candidates.’