Arabs are split on who they want as the new Dundee United boss.
A special online poll conducted by the Tele found that 20% of fans want former Motherwell manager Stuart McCall to step in to the post vacated by Jackie McNamara at the weekend.
But some 18% of the 1,235 votes cast were for bookies favourite Mixu Paatelainen.
Scotland coach McCall has refused to rule out taking the role and is as short as 5/2 with some bookmakers for the Tannadice top job.
And it appears his arrival would get the thumbs up from Tangerines on the terraces, a fifth of those picking McCall as the man they want chairman Stephen Thompson to approach.
The appointment of former Finland international and United frontman Paatelainen also got considerable backing from fans. Paatelainen was narrowly edged out into second place, picking up 18% of the vote.
Another former United player Jim McIntyre, currently manager at Premiership rivals Ross County, came third with 14%, while the least fancied of the named managers was St Johnstone’s Tommy Wright.
Meanwhile, John Hughes has been linked with the post according to reports.
But the Tele understands no move or approach has been made for the Inverness boss.
That doesn’t mean his name is not on the club’s not-so-short shortlist. But early frontrunners Paatelainen, McCall and Wright are still believed to be favourites as the club remain on course to make an appointment by next week.
Meanwhile, chairman Stephen Thompson has made it clear he believes with the talent that’s already in the squad and the support any new manager will be given, a ninth top-six finish in a row remains a realistic possibility.
“Yes, absolutely. And we’re in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and everybody is still in the Scottish Cup. So there’s still a lot to play for this season,” was his emphatic answer when he was asked whether or not the top six remained a realistic target this term.
On Monday, he pointed out the last 18 months of McNamara’s reign saw close on £500,000 go on transfer fees.
That’s a lot for any provincial club, but more funds look set to be made available when the next transfer window opens in January.
With 51 players on the books right now, it’s also clear there will be a number of departures then and next summer.
“We need to get players out of the door — 51 players is far, far too many. So the new manager is going to have to be somebody we can work together with.
“As for players coming in, that’s for the next manager to discuss with me.
“If I start saying we need some, it feels like I’m criticising people and I’m not going to do that.”
For the moment, at least, the identity of the next boss remains unknown, even to United — but the chairman does have a definite profile of the man his club needs.
He won’t discuss names but, by listing the qualities required, he confirms the likes of Stuart McCall, Mixu Paatelainen and Tommy Wright are in his thoughts.
“This is not a club for a first appointment for a manager. It’s too big a club from that point of view and it would be a hard job for someone in their very first appointment to come here.
“It would be a risk from our point of view and a very difficult task given where we are sitting in the league.
“That maybe rules out one or two people but it doesn’t rule out many. We know what we are looking for as a board.
“We went through a very thorough process the last time. We got Jackie and Jackie was the right person but, unfortunately, things haven’t worked out in the last period of time.”
Looking back over the McNamara years, he does concede issues like the revelation he was on a cut of transfer fees and the sale of top players made it a challenging job.
Lessons have been learned and the next boss with not get the transfer clause in his contract.
But as determined as United are to challenge for silverware, player sales will remain a fact of life.
“I think you go back to four or five years ago with David Goodwillie when we had a huge amount of debt, and a ridiculous amount of pressure was on myself and the board by the bank to get that debt down.
“I turned down an offer for Goodwillie at the time and then we ended up getting the figure we got for him.
“I just felt I don’t want this club to be in that position ever again. I want this club to be in a position where it is financially stable for the future so the sales to reduce the debt were the right thing.”