Pompey are targeting their new manager to be in place by next Monday.
That is the ‘ideal world’ time frame according to Mark Catlin, although he has warned the date is not set in stone.
From tomorrow, interviews will begin over a two-day period to whittle down a short list expected to consist of five or six names.
They will include Chris Wilder, with the Blues having made an official approach to talk to the Oxford boss.
A dream team ticket of Richie Barker and Steve Coppell, who operated together at Crawley, is also an intriguing proposition and will see them listed.
Meanwhile, among those who have applied are Andy Thorn, Hermann Hreidarsson and David James, Kevin Dillon and Jimmy Ball.
Catlin, who has declined to discuss the names of applicants, has revealed Pompey’s seven-man board will be involved in interviewing candidates and will have the final say.
However, the Blues’ chief executive, financial director Tony Brown and football operations consultant Darren Simmons will also be present through the process.
And despite the Wilder developments, Catlin is adamant there is no clear route for any candidate at present.
He said: ‘We always said we were going to be open and transparent with the process but putting the names out would not be fair on the candidates.
‘At present there are 40 or 50 serious applications with still another 24 hours before that process comes to a close.
‘We are looking to have a short list of five or six and tomorrow and Wednesday have been set aside for some people already identified to be spoken to.
‘As many as can attend from the board will be present for those invited for interviews, in addition to myself Tony Brown and Darren Simmons.
‘I am not a board member but will have an input in the process, using my experience, knowledge and contacts with people in the game.
‘In an ideal world we want a new manager in place on Monday, so they can then spend the whole week with the squad – but it is not an ideal world.
‘That is what we are aiming for and hopefully that can happen – but we have to consider there may be delays over contracts or anything else that could crop up.
‘I also have to say that even if we have asked for permission to speak to someone it does not mean we are going to appoint them – it is to speak to them.’
In addition to the usual candidates mentioned for the role, there have also been some fanciful suggestions who are well out of the Blues’ price range.
Catlin added: ‘Some of the names that crop up that people think we can get, well maybe they normally get in a week what we can pay in a year.
‘We have to be realistic as to what we can afford.’