St Neots Town chairman Mike Kearns insists he knows who he wants to appoint as his new manager – but he doesn’t expect anything to happen until the new year.

Kearns is searching for a successor to Gary King who stood down as boss last Wednesday after 14 months in charge.

He has received a stack of applications from interested parties despite the position not being formally advertised.

Kearns said: “It is a difficult time of year to be appointing a new manager and I doubt anything will be completed before the new year.

“I have applications coming out of my ears from every man and his dog and quite frankly it is starting to get on my nerves.

“I know the man I want to bring in but these things take time.

“I'm a businessman and I always have alternatives. I will talk to two or three people to see what they offer and what boxes they tick.”

Internet speculation has seen St Neots linked with a move for Gary Roberts who has spent the last decade in charge of local and Southern League Premier Division rivals Cambridge City.

Kearns took temporary charge of St Neots, along with the club's coaching staff, for a 3-1 victory over Frome at the Cozy Stadium last Saturday.

Wideman David Hutton, top-scorer Drew Roberts and defender Max York found the net against a side reduced to 10 men late in the first half.

It was a match which marked the return to action of full-back Theo Davis who has been sidelined for three years by a serious knee injury.

Kearns is again likely to be in the dugout when St Neots entertain fellow high-fliers Corby Town on Boxing Day.

The Northamptonshire outfit are one of three teams locked together at the top of the standings, but the table is likely to change following the demise of crisis club Hereford. Saints are set to lose six points gained against that side.

Kearns added: “We have a good bunch of players who got a result last Saturday and hopefully we can do the same against Corby.”

King is the only notable departure in recent days with skipper Gavin Hoyte moving on to Biggleswade.