Interim Central Coast Mariners boss Tony Walmsley says the club have started talking to new coaching candidates but are unlikely to make a final call until the end of the season.
Walmsley, who took the reins for the rest of the season following the sacking of coach Phil Moss three weeks ago, saw his side snatch a well-earned 1-1 draw with Perth Glory on Sunday.
Asked if the club was closer to appointing a new coach, Walmsley said: “The short answer is yes we are closer.
“We’re starting to open dialogue with different people.
“The deadline for that I still think will be end of season before we will have something locked in.”
It was an encouraging performance from the Mariners on Sunday, but it was only an exceptional injury-time strike from Nick Montgomery which allowed them to escape with a point.
“Had we been in here talking about a 1-0 [loss] we would have been really deflated,” Walmsley admitted.
“We had 60 percent possession in the first half, we hit the post. We felt the opportunity was there at half-time to win the game.
“Thankfully Monty popped up at the end with a screamer and it’s given everyone a lift but we didn’t take advantage in the second half the way we wanted to.”
While their finals hopes are realistically – if not mathematically – over, Walmsley says his side have plenty to play for over the final five rounds.
He believes a strong finish can act as a springboard for the players and the club heading into next season.
“We’ve got a really tough run of games. [Melbourne] Victory away twice, Wellington away, Brisbane Roar away and the Wanderers at home,” Walmsley said.
“The opportunity is to go and do something special in those games.
“I’d love for the players to have that experience and at the end of the season we look back at the eight games I’ve been in charge and say ‘we’ve done ok’.
“If that’s the reference point that next season starts from then we’re in good shape.”